Film News

Is It Too Late to Save The Suicide Squad from the Grimdark March?

Has this ever happened to you?

You’re in a theater to see a movie you’ve been looking forward to for months. Maybe you obsessively watched the trailers on YouTube. Maybe you just encountered the trailers in front of every other movie you saw in the months prior. The point is the studio’s marketing department did its job and got you to buy a ticket.

But then something awful happens. The movie you thought you were seeing doesn’t actually exist. You’ve been duped by the nifty editors who put together the trailers. You came to see a comedy, but instead got a serious drama with one or two jokes. The scary movie you wanted turns out to be a slow-moving, unnerving and very methodical psychological thriller. And a light-hearted, Guardians of the Galaxy-esque superhero movie turns out to be as joyless as Batman v Superman.

Well now there’s a solution to that! It’s called re-shoots. It’s the thing a studio can do to change their movie to be more like the one they promised.

Wait. Hold on. That’s not how re-shoots normally work. But it might be what’s happening right now with Suicide Squad.

According to BirthMoviesDeath, the current, Queen-music enhanced trailer for Suicide Squad completely misrepresents the movie.

The trailer in question:

The actual film is far closer to the more somber tone of the earlier trailer and footage from last year’s San Diego Comic-Con. This Deadpool/Guardians of the Galaxy-esque “fun with anti-heroes” movie everyone’s excited about doesn’t exist. “Every joke in the movie is in that trailer,” says a BMD source.

However, in the wake of the response to the trailer and, uh, shall we say Batman v Superman controversy Warner Bros is apparently “requesting reshoots that would alter the tone of the film, bringing in some more of the lightness to which audiences responded […] The reshoots are happening right now, as recently as this week, and that they’re big – tens of millions of dollars big. And they’re adding more humor and lightness into the film […] They’re not just inserting jokes left and right but beefing up fun character moments and interactions.”

BMD also states that as far as this relates to Justice League-Part One, “Word is that they’re being much more involved this time around.”

To me, this suggest Suicide Squad is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Two months ago, Deadpool made R-rated superhero movies cool again. So everyone wondered if it was too late for Warner Bros. to change Suicide Squad into more of an R-rated adventure, more in line with the tone of its source material. WB and the film’s director David Ayer mostly said, “An R-rating is fine and good for those miscreants at Fox, but here at WB we have toys to sell, dammit. Plus, we’ve already wrapped production. It’s too late to change direction now.”

Now Batman v Superman has made a rather convincing argument that the DC Cinematic Universe will be the place where joy, believable characters and enjoyable character interactions go to die. It’s making loads of money, but inspiring a level of anger which is truly rare in response to most comic book movies. So maybe WB suddenly realizes that things need to change and fast.

Or maybe not. This is, after all, just a rumor BMD is reporting from an unnamed source, and that epic Batman v Superman drop-off at the box office many are hoping for might not actually happen. WB might have created the superhero franchise version of Transformers, completely critic and audience proof.

Where does that leave Suicide Squad? Too tame to be the next Deadpool but so close to being the next Batman v Superman that WB is devoting millions to emergency reshoots to fix things?

Source: BirthMoviesDeath


    1. I don’t know, I am getting the complete opposite impression here. It sure seems like Batman v Superman is undiluted Zack Snyder, far more than Man of Steel, and Suicide Squad was what David Ayer wanted to make. The lesson WB might be learning from BvS is that they need to actually exert a little more quality control. Whether or not we trust them is another matter, and it might be a deviation from their plan to be far more filmmaker friendly than Marvel.

    2. I doubt that the studio was the problem. My complains about Man of Steel were always “lack of characterisation, contrived and confused storytelling, choppy editing and a finale which is more concerned with destruction than the actual emotions behind it” – which are exactly the same things people now complain about when it comes to Batman v Superman. I always said that Snyder is good at transporting visuals from the comic book pages on film (note that they are not even his own visuals, he just turns them into live-action), but a horrible story-teller. Looks like the geek community finally realized that the emperor has no clothes.

  1. Doesn’t this happen in every genre of film? I recently saw “Lady in the Van”. I was expecting a touching story of a vagrant old woman with some light hearted moments. Instead I saw a film about a mentally ill old woman who treated a gay man as her door mat while he literally cleaned up her faeces from his driveway.

    And the people in charge wonder why people go to the cinema less and less. If this was any other form of goods and services, the advertisers would be sued for false and misleading advertising or fraud.

    1. “Doesn’t this happen in every genre of film?”

      That was the point of my intro. The expectations vs. reality battle happens all the time with movies because of trailers. If BirthMoviesDeath is right about WB and Suicide Squad, though, this is the first example I can think of where a studio is going back in to a movie to make it more like the version of the movie promised in the trailers. There have certainly been plenty of movies which have gone back in for reshoots after negative test screenings, but what BMD is saying about Suicide Squad is even different than that.

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