Suicide Squad's messy tone is all down to studio panic and last-minute changes

Based on the general critical consensus Suicide Squad isn't quite the funtime caper we were expecting. A messy tone, inconsistent editing and questionable villainy are some of the reasons cited by reviewers for this latest entry into the DC Extended Universe. Those issues could have stemmed from the highly-publicized reshoots earlier this year, but according to a report from THR troubles began when writer-director David Ayer was given a mere six weeks to pen the script. That's surely a major concern for a studio trying to reclaim its stake in comic book cinema, right? 

Yet the shoot continued and more problems arose. When that first badass trailer landed it promised a riotous, Deadpool-esque antihero film which sent studio execs into a panic. The film Ayer had shot was much more "somber." Folks at Warner Bros. were worried that the finished product wouldn't deliver on that KER-AZY promise, so they allowed Ayer to continue work on his take, while they sought help from the company who cut that teaser trailer for a fluffier cut. That's just plain odd. Companies who edit trailers are in the marketing business. Their skills are in the selling of a product - not creating one.  

Nevertheless, "multiple" editors were brought in to tinker and this tactic resulted in two different cuts of the film screened for test audiences: Ayer's original version and a "a lighter, studio-favored" version. Feedback from those previews led to the studio and Ayer reaching “a very common-ground place” which basically means they decided to MERGE these two alternate versions. Now that's not simply a matter of cueing up both films in Final Cut Pro and splicing away. It meant millions of dollars was spent on additional shooting.  

According to another source it mostly came about because Warner's CEO was "really pissed about damage to the brand" caused by the poor critical response towards Batman v Superman. And so for Suicide Squad, efforts were focused on  making a less dour, more madcap mainstream summer flick that appealed to a broader audience. Dawn of Justice only came out in March. That meant the studio was hustling on Suicide Squad right until the last second.  

Regardless of critical opinion, the biggest query still hovering over the film is whether it will haul in a decent amount at the box office, and subsequently, get the go-ahead for a sequel. Throw in that small community exuberantly defending the movie to the point of trying to get Rotten Tomatoes shut down and it's clear the story of Suicide Squad is far from over.  

But what I really want to know is: when will we get the R-rated Ultimate Edition? 

Directed by David Ayer and starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, and Joel Kinnaman, Suicide Squad will open in the UK and US on August 5, 2016.

Images: Warner Bros. 

Gem Seddon

Gem Seddon is GamesRadar+'s west coast Entertainment News Reporter, working to keep all of you updated on all of the latest and greatest movies and shows on streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Outside of entertainment journalism, Gem can frequently be found writing about the alternative health and wellness industry, and obsessing over all things Aliens and Terminator on Twitter.