Well before Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hit theaters, there was already a feeling that Suicide Squad—the lesser known comics property—had the potential to be Warner Bros.’ breakout DC Comics hit. This was amplified by reaction to the film’s Comic-Con sizzle reel and eventual trailer, both of which teased a visually rich and unique blockbuster experience with a cast of colorful characters.
But in the wake of Batman v Superman’s somewhat disappointing reception, rumors surfaced that Warner Bros. was sending Suicide Squad back for reshoots in order to up the levity of the film. Writer/director David Ayer took to Twitter last week to assert that the reshoots weren’t to make the movie more “fun” but were instead a vote of confidence from the studio, so when Collider’s own Steve Weintraub got the chance to speak with Ayer yesterday during the Warner Bros. presentation at CinemaCon, he asked the filmmaker about the reshoots and whether it was simply a case of the studio asking Ayer what else he wanted for the film, with Ayer responding that he’d like another set piece:
“That’s kind of it. If they don’t like your movie they tend to not want to invest in it. If they love your movie, they give you what you want. And I don’t think there’s any director that finishes a movie and says, ‘Wow that’s perfect, that’s what I really want it to be.’ Every movie I’ve ever made I wish I could go and grab some additional stuff and that’s exactly the chance I got this time. It’s like getting a new car but you get fancy rims and a new stereo.”
Steve asked Ayer if the reshoots are adding bits and pieces here and there or if he’s adding a significant new set piece, but the filmmaker was tight-lipped about specifics, only saying “all of the above.” But he also spoke about the movie’s soundtrack given that the sizzle reel and subsequent trailers have featured both classic songs and covers of classic songs:
“It’s gonna be an interesting soundtrack, let’s just say that. We have some really cool original things coming in but also some familiar things too, and a great score.”
Steven Price, who won an Oscar for composing the score for Gravity and also scored The World’s End and Ayer’s Fury, is handling scoring duties for Suicide Squad, so that’s definitely yet another reason to be excited for Suicide Squad. But Ayer also seems to suggest that the use of popular music might not just be relegated to the trailers.
As for how deep the film goes into the comics source material, Ayer said he made the movie both for passionate fans of the comic and folks who’ve never picked one up in their life, though the former would do well to keep an eye out for Easter Eggs:
“Well the film has to work on two levels, it’s gotta work for the people that know and love the comics and it’s gotta work for the people that know nothing about the comics, and I think it’s gonna work for both. I dug deep in this and really researched the canon, pulled storylines from a lot of different sources, characters from a lot of different sources, and it all works together really well. But I think for someone that doesn’t know any of it, it works great too. It’s dense, let’s just say it’s really dense. There’s a lot of imagery, there’s a lot of nods, and there’s a lot of Easter Eggs.”
Finally, we know that Ben Affleck’s Batman features in the film in some capacity, so Steve asked Ayer what it was like to work with the Caped Crusader:
“I mean look, as a kid I was a fan of DC Comics. I read them, I love Batman. Batman was always my favorite superhero, and then to have him walk on my set one day was an incredible experience. Even my cynical, hard-bitten movie crew got quiet when that happened. And Ben’s a great dude, he’s a good guy to work with.”
Regardless of Batman v Superman, I’m a big fan of Ayer’s work as a filmmaker and he has undeniably assembled not just a top-notch cast but also a terrific crew, from the composer to the costume designer to everything in between, and the footage we’ve seen thus far has been mighty promising. Thus, Suicide Squad still feels like it could be a major breakout film for 2016, and waiting for that August 5th release date is not getting any easier.
Look for more from Steve’s interview with Ayer soon and click here for all our previous Suicide Squad coverage.