There are a lot of blockbusting superhero movies coming out in 2016, so it's no suprise that David Ayer wants Suicide Squad to stand out from the crowd. As the first all-villain superhero movie (live action, at least), Suicide Squad has already got fans buzzing. With Ayer promising that this film will herald a new era of superhero movies, can Suicide Squad live up to the hype?
In his latest interview with Empire magazine, David Ayer really let his nerd rage out, as he discussed the samey nature of the recent spate of superhero movies. Even DC wasn't safe from his criticism as he outlined the biggest problem facing superhero movies nowadays: overblown peril that just doesn't seem believable.
"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 a 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 Comic-Book Movie 2.0."
He's got a point. [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035) especially has come under fire for having stakes that were too high while failing to deliver realistic tension.
Essentially, we never once thought that the Avengers wouldn't save the day... and that feeling of security really doesn't thrill an audience. But the idea of getting back to a more grounded, character based story isn't exactly new (this is definitely one of the secrets to Daredevil's success).
So will Suicide Squad change how we see superhero movies? It's entirely possible. The movie is something of a counter to the vast majority of superhero stories, and mirror-image tales are always very interesting, partly because they defy the generic.
Having said that, most of 2016's superhero movies seem to be taking the alternate, reflective route: both Batman vs Superman and [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409) will address heroic responsibilitiy, while Deadpool also follows a dark antihero being thrown a lifeline. But there's no doubt that Suicide Squad will take the most darkly psychological look at the hero world.
The psychological aspect was definitely what attracted Ayer to the film in the first place, specifically through the story of one Harley Quinn...
The Heart Of Suicide Squad
Harley's role in Suicide Squad already seems to be pivotal: she is the character featured most in the trailer, with the musical choice reflecting her mindset. And as Ayer reveals, it's Harley's story that really chimed with him, as her development ultimately reveals the core themes of the film.
"When you follow her story, it’s about her breaking free of the Joker and becoming this fully actualized, independent person. That really is a metaphor for everyone’s journey here."
So it seems that we'll be getting a lot of Harley Quinn's origin story in Suicide Squad, as she goes from the brilliant but sensitive Dr Harleen Quinzel to the manic and obsessed villain.
And as Harley moves past her obsession with the Joker, there's another villain who's gunning for her affection (and unfortunately it's not Poison Ivy)...
"Deadshot’s actually eyeballing [Harley] a little bit. There’s a pretty ragged romantic triangle there."
Will Smith was the one to break the news, which comes as no surprise to anyone who noticed the two characters cosying up to each other in the leaked set photos.
So will David Ayer's words prove true: can Suicide Squad usher in a new era of grounded superhero storytelling? Or is it merely a welcome foil to the majority of heroic stories? We'll just have to find out when the movie is released, but for better or worse, Suicide Squad is definitely going to be a hell of a ride.