“Wish I had a time machine”: Director David Ayer on ‘Suicide Squad’ Regrets

Image via Warner Bros.

It’s no secret that Suicide Squad wasn’t the overall runaway success that many were hoping for.

Despite a nice worldwide box office pull of $US746.8 million, critics weren’t impressed and audiences were left divided.

Suicide Squad director David Ayer, also known for gritty dramas such as End of Watch and Fury, has responded to the lashing the film has received and has shed some light on his own qualms with the final product, describing the film as flawed and revealing that he would have done “a lot of things” differently.

“I know it’s a controversial film, I really tried to make something different, with a look and a voice of its own,” Ayer posted on Twitter in response to a fan’s praise of the film.

“I took inspiration from the insanity of the original comics. Making a movie is a journey, not a straight line. I learned so much. People want what they want, and everyone has a personal vision of how each character should look and walk and talk. If you set out to make a mass appeal movie, it’s easy to end up with vanilla. But I went for it. And I know Squad has its flaws. Hell, the world knows it. Nothing hurts more than to pick up a newspaper and see a couple years of your blood, sweat and tears ripped to shreds. The hate game is strong out there.”

Indeed, the internet can amplify negative opinion and affect any movie; a big studio picture such as Suicide Squad would naturally attract an even harsher spotlight. Reading negative, harsh opinions would no doubt be painful for anyone associated with the film’s creation, but that’s simply the unfortunate risk that comes with most creative works.

“Would I do a lot of things different? Yep, for sure,” Ayer continued.

“Wish I had a time machine. I’d make Joker the main villain and engineer a more grounded story. I have to take the good and bad and learn from it. I love making movies and I love DC. I’m a High School dropout and used to paint houses for a living. I’m lucky to have the job I have. I have to give the characters the stories and plots they deserve next time. Real talk. (And no, there isn’t a secret edit of the film with a bunch of Joker scenes hidden in a salt mine somewhere.)”

It’s interesting to find that Ayer regrets not placing Jared Leto‘s Joker as the primary villain. Opinions regarding Leto’s take on the character vary widely, but a common opinion among those that did enjoy his performance is that he should have received more screen time and a more prominent position in the plot. Leto himself has expressed his disappointment regarding the amount of Joker work that got discarded in the editing process, apparently even telling fans that he felt he’d been “tricked” into making a film that was pitched to him completely differently. In fact, the cinematic release only has around 7 minutes of Joker footage, making it little more than – as Rolling Stones critic Peter Travers described – “a glorified walk-on”.

With Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, it’s fair to say that the DCEU hasn’t had a very smooth run thus far. Many now wait with bated breath for Wonder Woman to come and save the day.

Image via Warner Bros.