Feature: The Suicide Squad Movie That Might’ve Been
David Ayer, the director of Suicide Squad, recently issued a statement regarding how the film was received. It seemed very heartfelt and as someone who has been on the end of this kind of thing in the past I did feel sorry for him and hope it makes internet commentators remember that at the end of the day even if you don’t like something you should be reasonably respectful.
One thing in the statement that did intrigue me (and something I felt watching Suicide Squad) was the idea that if David Ayer had the chance to do everything over again he would have made The Joker the villain.
Now for me personally that is a brilliant idea as it opens up a lot of possibilities, assuming we stick with Jared Leto’s portrayal of the character it helps to counter one of the big plotholes of the original. Instead of a supernatural threat we have one that is more complex and often with gangland connections it would be hard even for someone like Batman to take them down.
This then opens up the recruitment process. Villains could have a grudge against The Joker or in the case of Deadshot be coerced or blackmailed into it, giving the recruitment scenes more of an oomph. It also allows for more reasons for each individual to be included on the team; as a robber Captain Boomerang could affect Joker’s access to funds, Deadshot takes out important targets and most crucially of all Harley is the one that gets us on the inside.
On top of that we now have a fascinating central conflict. Is Harley helping the team or double crossing them? While this was touched on in the final film to make it central would add more tension and intrigue to the events going on.
Ultimately I feel that this approach would serve Suicide Squad’s biggest strength, an intriguing cast of characters that would have to decide where their loyalties lie.
Of course it is easy to play this game from here and very different if you were the one in charge of multiple millions and having to balance the needs of a studio, a script and a cast while maintaining a consistent vision.
However with rumours of Ayer receiving six weeks to work out the script I do feel this is a lesson that DC needs to learn if it is to compete with Marvel. Having great characters is not enough if the story isn’t there to back it up.