#ReleaseTheAyerCut & the Power of the Fans- by Dustin Brewer

Now that “The Snyder Cut” will be released on HBOMax in 2021, fans have turned their attention to another much-derided DCEU film: David Ayer’s ‘Suicide Squad’. Dustin weighs in on the movements and what ‘Suicide Squad’ stands to gain from it.

suicidesquad-setphoto-davidayer-willsmith
-via Slash Film

When ‘Suicide Squad’ first hit theaters in 2016, it didn’t exactly burn up the screens and become the tentpole franchise that WB & DC Films likely had in mind. While the film definitely has a passionate fanbase (we’ll get to them in a minute), it was mostly received with middling reviews and an underwhelming (in the way that only a superhero movie making just under $750 million worldwide) box office performance that branded it as another misfire in the rushed DC Film’s Extended Universe.

Last week, a three-year social media movement started by fans of Zack Snyder’s ‘Justice League’ finally saw its’ goal met. #ReleaseTheSnyderCut started after Snyder left the original “Justice League” shoot after suffering a terrible family tragedy. Joss Whedon came in, punched up the script with his Whedon-isms, and finished the project through his own lens. The result was another “disappointing” box office performance with a portion of the fans loving it and others continuing to declare Marvel’s dominance over DC when it comes to movies. “The Snyder Cut” will be released in 2021 to HBO’s new HBOMax streaming service with Snyder needing to finish a few portions of it before it’s good to go.

The fanbase rejoiced for a few days before quickly turning their attention to ‘Suicide Squad’ and David Ayer’s director’s cut of the movie. The production was constantly edited, re-shot, and changed by the studio throughout the process and the stories coming from the set about Jared Leto’s absolutely insane methods of inhabiting the character of the Joker continued to paint a negative portrait about what the final result was going to end up being.

All the extra stories, studio meddling, and “underperforming” box office numbers aside, ‘Suicide Squad’ did have a few (ok, like two) noteworthy things:

  • Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, who quickly was signed to a contract for multiple movies in the future.
  • Will Smith turned in a vintage-level Will Smith performance as Deadshot after a few years of less than stellar received movies.

For his part in all this, David Ayer has welcomed the movement:

Ayer has also mentioned that it would be easy and cheap for him to finish his cut of ‘Suicide Squad’ compared to the millions that will be spent finishing ‘Justice League’.

DC has already committed to rebooting ‘Suicide Squad’ as a franchise with Ayer out, replaced by James Gunn, and boasting an all-new cast (except for Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller) with a release date scheduled for 2021.

With HBOMax gearing up to try and compete with other streaming services, it’s pretty likely that a movement like this will prove successful and a director’s cut of ‘Suicide Squad’ will be finished and released eventually but really, it shouldn’t have to come to this point. Studios have been meddling in movies for decades and it’s not going to stop anytime soon but as online movements like #ReleaseTheSnyderCut become bigger and achieve success with their goals, fans are going to be much less likely to just accept a bad/rushed/incoherent/overly edited movie.

It shouldn’t have to come to the point of fans taking matters into their own hands but if studios continue to take liberties with beloved properties, these types of movements are only going to get bigger and louder.

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