For those who want to see more of Margot Robbie and Will Smith as Harley Quinn and Deadshot, or for those disappointed by Suicide Squad's lack of the over-hyped eccentric gangster Joker played by Jared Leto there is new reason to rejoice. DC announced an extended cut for the film on home video. The longer version of Suicide Squad can be bought digitally on November 15 and on Blu-Ray on December 13.
Check out the official announcement below.
While this may sound like an early birthday gift for some, it also exposes the large problem in Warner Bros.'s plans for its cinematic shared universe. Suicide Squad is the second DCEU movie to get an extended version, and this is also the second time the shared universe had to rely on home video to redeem itself. With that being said, here are some reasons why WB and DC should stop relying on extended cuts.
Buying a ticket for a disappointing and rushed movie like Suicide Squad is disheartening, and learning about a much better version soon to exist on a pricey DVD or Blu-ray is worse. While DC's defenders are sure to pre-order these special editions, casual viewers may feel cheated because they wasted good money on an otherwise incomplete experience. Add the fact that extended cuts usually cost more than an opening day ticket, and the price to see the "real" Suicide Squad is a lot more expensive than anticipated.
No matter how much the extended cut may improve their movies, it's still a business maneuver for DC to get more money out of lackluster products. Audiences deserve good movies, and they deserve better treatment from DC's cinematic branch.
Audiences Could Lose Interest
The majority of the comments on DC's Suicide Squad announcement leaned towards cynicism and shared one sentiment: if DC keeps releasing extended and better versions of their polarizing movies on DVD, why bother going to cinemas in the first place?
These could be dismissed as online sarcasm, but the general consensus paints a foreboding picture for DC's movie-going audience. Despite breaking records and earning millions, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad suffered staggering drop-offs on their second weeks due to negative press and bad word of mouth. Given the mixed to poor reception, audiences lost the motivation to see DC's 2016 lineup, and this could get worse if nothing is done to fix the problem.
While the big screen gets the rushed movie, home video gets the DCEU entry as it was meant to be. This gives audiences even fewer reasons to watch on opening day; waiting saves money and gets a better movie in the process.
Have Faith In The Filmmakers
When Warner Bros. and DC launched their cinematic shared universe, the comic publishing giant proudly proclaimed their movies would be "filmmaker-driven." If DC's most recent movies are anything to by, their projects are anything but filmmaker-driven.
DC and Warner Bros. execs took flak for interfering too little with the theatrical cut of Batman v Superman and too much with Suicide Squad, as both movies suffered jarring tonal shifts and questionable plot progression. Though the restored footage might patch things up, it does little to fix the relationship the studio has with its filmmakers.
Whether WB decided to impose cuts to appease critics, to pander to fans, or just to satisfy some executives' creative impulses, it shows a general lack of faith in filmmakers. WB and DC need to find the perfect balance between exercising authority and giving free reign to creators. Because as evidenced by their 2016 movie line-up, leaning to either extreme already cost them too much.
Extended Cuts Should Not Be Damage Control
It's no secret that movies always leave scenes in the cutting floor. The cut content is sometimes restored for the movie's home release, and this footage is part of what makes any DVD's special features section fun. The thing is, movies with the best director's cuts can work with and without the removed scenes. This is not the case for DC's current movies, since the removed scenes don't just address criticisms - they also salvage the movie.
DC's best example of this is Batman v Superman's Ultimate Edition, which while not perfect, is a massive improvement over the theatrical version. Not only did the Ultimate Edition improve character development, it also filled in plot holes. The same can be expected from Suicide Squad's upcoming Extended Cut.
A director's cut of any movie is always a treat for film buffs and collectors, but the restored footage should only improve an otherwise strong movie, like the extended Lord Of The Rings trilogy. If DC wants to keep churning out special editions for their movies, they first have to earn the right to do so by making decent superhero movies that can stand on their own in cinemas.
The 'Blade Runner' Argument
That's not say that extended cuts are a bad thing. Some extended cuts saved movies that were received poorly, like the first cinematic Daredevil or Ridley Scott's cyberpunk opus Blade Runner. The latter went as far to have four known versions, with the fourth, The Final Cut, being the preferred cut.
In these cases, extended cuts were not a bonus but a necessity, because the movie's artistic vision was demolished for many of the same reasons mentioned earlier. It took Scott almost three decades to finally get his desired vision for Blade Runner in front of audiences, and audiences and filmmakers shouldn't be put through this tedious practice just to get the movie they deserve.
Suicide Squad will not be the first film to be saved by an extended cut, nor will it be the last. While Suicide Squad does deserve a second chance, it would have been better if Warner Brothers got it right the first time. Until studios learn how to trust their filmmakers and respect audiences a little bit more, heavily advertised director's cuts that salvage instead of improve will continue to be a thing.
Personally speaking, I'm interested in checking out the Suicide Squad: Extended Cut but it may be the last time I give the DCEU a chance. As much as I liked Suicide Squad for being a trashy B-grade superhero movie, I couldn't find myself loving it as much as I wanted to. Like Batman v Superman, the theatrical Suicide Squad was a mess of good but underdeveloped ideas. And to be honest, my wallet and I are both tired of seeing DC make the same mistakes over and over again.
If Wonder Woman suffers the same fate as Suicide Squad, I'm going back to watching reruns of Justice League on television instead of buying a ticket for the DCEU's first major team-up. At least I won't have to worry about missing reels or studio demands in the classic animated series.