WARNING: This article contains heavy spoilers for Suicide Squad.
Whether you love it or hate it, Suicide Squad is finally here. The film introduced audiences to characters like Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Katana, Rick Flagg, and Deadshot and further set up the interconnected storylines of the DC Extended Universe.
The film, already packed with Easter eggs, includes cameos from Bruce Wayne/Batman and The Flash. While Bruce Wayne's appearance was common knowledge for a long time, the Scarlet Speedster's part was kept secret until a few weeks ago, when his presence was discovered in new footage from Comic-Con.
The Flash comes into play in a flashback sequence, capturing Jai Courtney's character, Captain Boomerang. With his appearance undoubtedly catching many members of the audience off-guard, you may not have noticed that this particular scene was directed by Batman v Superman helmer Zack Snyder.
Suicide Squad director David Ayer sat down with Collider for an interview at the film's press day in New York. There, he was asked about the Flash cameo; he revealed the speedster was always in the film, but his scene was shot in London:
“Flash was always in the movie, we just got lucky because Justice League was happening and they had the uniform, they had the assets, so we were able to get that photography.”
Ayer revealed that the scene was filmed while Suicide Squad was in post-production. And when asked if Zack Snyder, executive producer on the film, had directed it, Ayer revealed he had.
Two Directors' Visions In Contrast
David Ayer and Zack Snyder definitely have very different approaches to storytelling and visuals. Given the recent revelation of Snyder's involvement in Suicide Squad, I wanted to explore both directors' visual styles and what happens when two completely different visions are in one film. Let's compare them:
Zack Snyder's Style
Let's analyze the still from the Flash scene in the Suicide Squad trailer, directed by Snyder:
Zack Snyder's signature in movies, specifically in comic book ones, is his use of matte color palette. The director always does his best to make us feel we are watching a highly stylized comic book.
With his films, it feels as though we were watching everything through the rear end of a bottle: drawn-out and extended in all directions. This is very evident from the image above which bears a striking resemblance to the visuals in Snyder's Watchmen:
While the shot from the Suicide Squad trailer is a screen grab and the above Watchmen image is a promo shot, you can see the similar shades. Snyder typically favors an oversaturated but muted palette of one hue, in this case, blue.
David Ayer's Style
In contrast, for Suicide Squad's overall look, David Ayer goes for a more washed-out appearance. Even in scenes that take place during the day, this color finish, similar to a worn wall or sidewalk, is evident. Take a look at this still of Deadshot from the film:
As we can see from the picture, the visual style is very reminiscent to the one in Fury (also directed by Ayer). Ayer's style is gritty and grounded, and his films often deal with more realistic, urban storylines, so his color scheme favors the browns of earth and grays of concrete. While brighter, as it's a mid-daytime shot, you can see the same browns and grays at work in this shot from Ayers' End of Watch:
While Davis Ayer does his best to keep Suicide Squad's visual style consistent with what we've seen from Snyder's Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, there's no denying that many of his signature directing traits creep in during the film.
Is Zack Snyder's Scene Noticeably Different From The Rest of Suicide Squad?
Are there noticeable hints of the Flash cameo scene in the film having been directed by Snyder, judging solely from the trailers? Yes, but it will hopefully not be as noticeable for new viewers. That way, making them feel as if they're watching a scene from a different film someone edited into Suicide Squad by mistake can be avoided.
Is it risky having two different directing visions clash in one film? Certainly, as it can result in a disjointed film that feels like two different projects. Granted, Snyder's contribution to the project was minimal but it could still present a mismatch that makes the editing seem jumpy. I guess we'll just have to wait and see!
If you've seen the film already, do you think Snyder's Flash scene was incongruous with the rest of Suicide Squad? Or did you not notice the difference in styles at all?