Ever since it was announced, it seems like Suicide Squad has been getting just as much attention as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. And why wouldn’t it? Warner Bros. is taking a chance and rolling the dice, hoping that audiences will want to see a team-up movie about a bunch of obscure villains (and the decidedly less obscure Joker and Harley Quinn), but unlike the inevitable meeting of Batman and Superman on the big screen (which I’m excited about, don’t get me wrong), this actually feels a little bit like a studio is taking a risk for once. Yes, it’s still a superhero movie populated with famous actors, but there’s an edginess to it that you don’t often see in superhero filmmaking.
Director David Ayer purposefully tried to avoid retreading what we’ve seen before, and in a new interview with Empire (via CBM), he brands his new film a “Comic Book Movie 2.0”:
“You know, all these movies are about defeating the evil alien robot from f*cking Planet X, before it destroys the world with its ticking clock. And who the f*ck cares? But you do this story about struggle and isolation and people who have been shit on that suddenly get thrown this lifeline… that’s not so bad… I like to think of this as the Comic Book Movie 2.0”
I’m not sure if that’s a ding against any particular film (Fantastic Four?) or just comic book movies in general at this point, but Ayer certainly seems to value bringing the stakes down to a more character-driven, emotional level, which is what he’s done from Training Day all the way through Fury. I’m definitely curious to see if he lives up to his own hype.
Speaking of hype, executive producer Charles Roven also tells the story about how the movie came to be, mythologizing it a little bit in the process:
“We’d just started shooting Batman v Superman, we were figuring out our path through the expanding DC Justice League universe. Then David Ayer came and pitched his take on Suicide Squad. It had this darkness and edge, while still tonally in the zone of what we’re trying to do with these movies. And it’s impossible that you could get a big tentpole picture from pitch to start of principal photography and faster than we did.”
Scheduling is one thing, but being able to make a high quality comic book movie is something else entirely. We’ll see if Ayer pulled it off when Suicide Squad arrives on August 5th, 2016. Fingers crossed!