The reaction to Suicide Squad was definitely mixed. Fans loved the film and made it a box office hit, but the substance of the film was panned by critics. Some pointed out some trouble with the story while others pointed to some misleading promotion, overplaying the Joker’s role in the film. Despite the release of an extended edition, the version of Suicide Squad we got was hit hard while still finding financial success.
To see the effect of this type of reaction, you have to look no further than Suicide Squad director David Ayer on Twitter. In response to a fan who was praising the film, Ayer posted a note that seemed to contain a variety of feelings related to the film. This includes a defense of his vision for the film and his reaction to critics:
I took the 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.
And while Ayer was quick to cite the success of the film and the support of the DC Comics fans, he does admit that he would do things differently. This includes a little more Joker in the movie:
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 who 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.)
I don’t think there’s a director out there that wouldn’t want a second crack at their finished film. Some get a chance to do that like George Lucas and Ridley Scott. In fact, anybody would want a second chance to take different directions or fix mistakes. It’s a daily thing for me and I’m pretty low in the social order.
Ayer’s words do a lot to show he isn’t just a guy that cashed a check with Suicide Squad, even if it doesn’t improve the movie that was released. Some people don’t care about that, though, and those are sometimes the audience you need to make a movie for.