David Ayer says his original Suicide Squad cut was "ripped to pieces" by the studio

Suicide Squad
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

David Ayer, director of 2016’s Suicide Squad, has opened up about just how much of his original director's cut was left on the cutting room floor.

When asked which scene was the toughest to leave out of Suicide Squad, Ayer said on Twitter, “The first 40 minutes.”

Elaborating upon it further, he explained it was “ripped to pieces – I can’t emphasize that enough” and that “[Batman v Superman] got chewed up by the critics, and the success of Deadpool – the studio leadership at the time [then] panicked. Then major elements of my cut were ripped out before I could mature the edit. Then [Geoff] Johns [then-president of DC Entertainment] wrote pages I had to reshoot.”

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It’s unclear just exactly what was changed and how much of it was changed, but Ayer has been vocal in the past about his original movie and what was changed before studio edits. Previously, he outlined one such aspect of his Suicide Squad – featuring “terrifying” Joker scenes.

Ayer has also moved to deny reports that his original version for Suicide Squad would be repackaged and re-released on HBO Max. “Not true” was his reply when asked on Twitter – but he has pushed for fans to help him bring the 'Ayer Cut' to the streaming service.

Despite the behind-the-scenes controversy, one aspect from the film remains. Jared Leto’s Joker, at least, has a new lease of life. He’s set to appear in Zack Snyder’s Justice League after reportedly being involved in additional photography for the HBO Max re-release.

It remains to be seen, though, whether David Ayer will have the last laugh and get his Suicide Squad off the ground. In the meantime, check out the best superhero movies of all time.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.