Here are some takeaways from the piece:
Check out the full report.
•"[Warner Bros.] chief Kevin Tsujihara announced the project in October 2014 as part of a slate of 10 DC films stretching into 2020. Though the studio believed there was enough time to get the movie done, a source with ties to the project says it was a sprint from the start. '[Ayer] wrote the script in like, six weeks, and they just went,' he says, arguing that the whole process would have benefited if Ayer, 48, had been given more time to work."
•"A source with knowledge of events says Warners executives, nervous from the start, grew more anxious after they were blindsided and deeply rattled by the tepid response to BvS. 'Kevin was really pissed about damage to the brand,' says one executive close to the studio. A key concern for Warners executives was that 'Suicide Squad' didn't deliver on the fun, edgy tone promised in the strong teaser trailer for the film. So while Ayer pursued his original vision, Warners set about working on a different cut, with an assist from Trailer Park, the company that had made the teaser."
•"By the time the film was done, multiple editors had been brought into the process, though only John Gilroy is credited. (A source says he left by the end of the process and that the final editor was Michael Tronick.)"
•"In May, Ayer's more somber version and a lighter, studio-favored version were tested with audiences in Northern California. [...] Those associated with the film insist Ayer agreed to and participated in the process. Once feedback on the two versions was analyzed, it became clear it was possible to get to 'a very common-ground place.' (The studio-favored version with more characters introduced early in the film and jazzed-up graphics won.)"
• "Other sources describe a fraught process — one cites 'a lot of panic and ego instead of calmly addressing the tonal issue.' Clearly all wasn't sitting right with Ayer, who in June suddenly dropped his longtime agent at CAA and defected to WME, though the agency won him back in a day. 'He was under a lot — a lot — of pressure,' says one person with knowledge of the situation, arguing that Ayer was exhausted and needed time to process conflicting ideas."
David Ayer and Warner Bros. production president Greg Silverman shared a joint statement with THR: "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."
Ayer also tweeted defense of the film, and DC fans who haven't even seen the film yet are defending it and blasting critics for a perceived anti-DC bias.
However, even some "fresh" reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are calling the film "messy" and a "semi-delightful mess." As Collider put it, when discussing THR's behind-the-scenes report, "[R]eviews calling the film a 'mess' are spot-on. Part of that comes from the atrocious editing that drops in scenes seemingly at random with no consideration of how the story flows or tonal consistency. Now we might know why the film is all over the place."
"Suicide Squad" opens in the U.S. this Friday, August 5.
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