‘Suicide Squad’ drama revealed: rushed production, competing cuts, high anxiety

Remember those rumors that Warner Bros. ordered Suicide Squad reshoots to make it more “fun”? Turns out, there was a lot of truth to that!

After yesterday’s mostly negative Suicide Squad reviews were published, The Hollywood Reporter spoke to their sources and put together a long article detailing all of the behind-the-scenes drama that went down on the movie. I’ll do my best to summarize it all below.

Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara announced Suicide Squad in October 2014, and it was “a sprint from the start” to meet its August 2016 release date. “[Ayer] wrote the script in like, six weeks, and they just went,” a source told THR. Pushing the release date back was not an option, since Warner Bros. already had big deals signed with companies like Samsung and other merchandise partners.

Another problem — Warner Bros. hired David Ayer to direct the movie, even though he had no prior experience making a big, CGI-filled blockbuster. Seasoned directors are expensive, meaning studios turn to those with less experience, relying on instinct that they will be up to the job, THR says.

Warner Bros. executives, who were nervous about Suicide Squad since the day it was announced, grew even more nervous after the negative response to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. “Kevin was really pissed about damage to the brand,” one executive close to the studio told THR.

And then came the competing cuts. Warner Bros. felt that the movie didn’t deliver the fun, edgy tone that the “Bohemian Rhapsody” trailer captured. So while David Ayer continued to work on his version of the movie, Warner Bros. began working on another with help from Trailer Park, the company that had made the trailer.

Multiple editors worked on Suicide Squad,  though only John Gilroy is credited. (A source told THR he left by the end of the process and that the final editor was Michael Tronick.)

In May, David Ayer’s darker version of the movie, and Warner Bros.’s lighter, more fun version were screened for test audiences. THR says that Ayer agreed to this, and they gathered all of the feedback and tried to reach a middle ground. In order to get the movie to that point though, millions of dollars were needed for reshoots.

THR says that a lot of “panic and ego” were involved, instead of calmly trying to address the tone issues. Things got so intense, that Ayer fired his long time agent, hired a new one, but then decided to go back to his old one just a day later. “He was under a lot — a lot — of pressure,” one source told THR.

In a joint statement to THR for there report, Ayer and Warners production president Greg Silverman said: “This was an amazing experience. We did a lot of experimentation and collaboration along the way. But we are both very proud of the result. This is a David Ayer film, and Warners is proud to present it.”

Now the pressure is on. One insider told THR that “the movie’s got to do $750 million, $800 million to break even. If they get anywhere close to that, they’ll consider it a win.” That is a huge hill to climb for a brand new superhero franchise.

So there you have it. There was a lot of behind-the-scenes drama over the last two years on the production of Suicide Squad. A David Ayer cut, a Warner Bros. cut, multiple editors, and lots of anxiety all played a part in the final product that is being released on August 5th. The critics didn’t like it, but now the fans will decide if Suicide Squad will be the $750 million hit that Warner Bros. desperately needs.

I encourage you all to read the full THR report at the source link below.

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter