As you likely know if you've been online over the past week, there's been a very mixed response to the newest DC Extended Universe release, Suicide Squad. While initial reviews from professional critics were overwhelmingly negative, the fan response has been a little more forgiving. Either way you want to look at it, I think a general and fair consensus is that the movie is fun and the characters are great, but the story itself lacked and suffered from choppy editing and weak dialogue. Personally, that's what I took away from Suicide Squad but we all have our own opinions.
In addition to the mixed response, there has also been a lot of behind the scenes stories that have leaked. These stories include rumors of two different cuts shown at test screenings, last minute re-shoots, and the possibility that Warner Bros. stepped in at the last minute and chopped the movie to hell leading to the mess that we all got treated with this weekend. Now, similar stories popped up after the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and after the fan response was so overwhelming, Warner Bros. quickly tried to right the wrong and they gave us an "Ultimate Edition" extended cut of the film. In other words, they released the cut that director Zack Snyder wanted us to see and not the lackluster, choppy theatrical cut that the studio gave us. Sound familiar?
What does this mean for the future of Suicide Squad?
Like many others are predicting, I think that another "Ultimate Edition" might be in store for us in the near future. If the studio heads over at Warner Bros. had anything to learn this time around, it was more proof that they need to stop shoving their hands in where they don't belong and let the people they hire to make the movies do their jobs. I've seen Suicide Squad and although there were some positives, the negatives were far greater and I felt the exact same way about Batman v Superman. However, the extended cut was an improvement. This leaves us with the question of, could an extended cut of Suicide Squad be an improvement?
Although director David Ayer took ownership of the final cut of the movie, he has hinted that things did get a bit taken away from him at the end of the day. Jared Leto himself said during the press tour that a majority of his scenes as the Joker were trimmed or cut entirely and that he hopes they eventually see the light of day. Given the amount of screentime that was stolen from the Joker, who knows what else was ultimately left on the cutting room floor. I have been reading and watching a lot of fan reviews on Suicide Squad and another general consensus is the hope that the DVD/Bluray release will either be an "Ultimate Edition" cut or will have a ton of deleted scenes included in the special features.
If we do get an extended cut, will we have to wait until Bluray?
Here is where things might get interesting because if you recall, we didn't have to wait until Bluray for the extended cut of Batman v Superman. Four months after the theatrical release of Batman v Superman, we got a limited release of the R-rated "Ultimate Edition" in theaters and then on Bluray about a month later. It seemed like the theatrical re-release was nothing but a second attempt at recouping production cost via box office sales, but that's really what's important at the end of the day for the studios. However, things changed a bit when word got out that the extended cut was actually an improvement over the theatrical cut.
Now, it is likely that Warner Bros. will pull a similar stunt with Suicide Squad and re-release a different cut of the movie in a couple of months. The chances of that happening in theaters are even more likely if the box office numbers follow what happened with Batman v Superman and significantly drop after the opening week. If the box office doesn't hold, we might want to prepare ourselves to go back to the theater and see Suicide Squad one more time. However, if the box office holds and Suicide Squad turns out to be an overall success domestically, we might have to wait until the Bluray release to get either an extended cut or a (hopefully) very full special features section.
What could even be in an extended cut of Suicide Squad?
First of all, we would apparently have a whole lot more of the Joker. More screentime for the Joker would likely correlate to more development of Harley Quinn and their backstory, including the motorcycle chase and confrontation we never get to see. Although I thought what we did get of the two of them together was a highlight of the movie, I do still think there could have been more. You can never have too much of the Joker and Harley Quinn, right?
There's really no way of telling what else was cut from the movie, but it's possible that more footage could mean more development for the ridiculously underdeveloped villain, Enchantress, and more substance to her relationship with Rick Flag. For all we know, there could even have been a different ending that was changed and cut together at the last minute. After all, we never did see the Joker's burned face like we saw repeatedly in the trailers.