Never mind Jared Leto sending people rats and bringing dead pigs to work…
Now that it seems that potential DC cinematic universe saviour ‘Suicide Squad’ has failed to live up to critical expectations, word from behind-the-scenes of the movie paint a picture of a set reportedly ‘brimming with anxiety’.
An explorative piece on the making of the star-studded movie, directed by ‘Fury’ helmsman David Ayer, has now emerged in The Hollywood Reporter.
Citing sources on the movie, it suggests that the making of the film was initially fraught thanks to an unrealistic release date which did not give the filmmakers enough time, and ‘aggressive’ intervention from executives at the movie’s studio, Warner Bros.
One source claims that the script, also written by Ayer, was barely ready by the time the studio pinned a release date to the multi-villain project.
“[Ayer] wrote the script in like, six weeks, and they just went,” he said.
Added another: “It’s not just that you’ve told the public the movie is coming, you’ve made huge deals around the world with huge branding partners, with merchandise partners. It’s a really big deal to move a tentpole date.”
Once the first draft of the movie was in, it was claimed that it was too ‘sombre’ in tone, and didn’t deliver on the fun and edgy tone of the trailer – notably the dizzying clip soundtracked by Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ – so the studio set about confirming reshoots and then making a rival cut of the film to that of Ayer, using ‘multiple editors’.
Seemingly this led to ‘a lot of panic and ego instead of calmly addressing the tonal issue’, claimed another source.
It’s said that the studio’s cut, ‘with more characters introduced early in the film and jazzed-up graphics’ was the one that has now been released.
For its part, Warner Bros said in a statement: “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.”
David Ayer too has extolled his pleasure working on the movie, tweeting that it was ‘the best experience of my life’.
Now there’s the not insignificant matter of how much the movie needs to make for the studio to deem it a success.
Critics aside, the movie is tracking a healthy opening of $140 million, but cost a sturdy $175 million to make, and many, many millions more to market.
“The movie’s got to do $750 million, $800 million to break even. If they get anywhere close to that, they’ll consider it a win,” one movie business ‘veteran’ told the magazine.
The movie’s DC predecessor, Zack Snyder’s much-hated ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’, fell well shy of the $1 billion target that the studio wanted, with a haul of $873 million, so ‘Suicide Squad’ has it all to do.
Starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto, it’s out across the UK from this weekend.
Image credits: Warner Bros