Suicide Squad might be one of the hottest comic book properties around right now, but David Goyer nearly beat David Ayer to the supervillain punch with his plans for Green Arrow: Escape From Super Max, which would have seen the hero banged up with a veritable rogue’s gallery of Gotham's bad guys. Goyer has been discussing the doomed project with Den Of Geek, and explains that Warner wasn’t big on a villain-led movie when the film was pitched at the end of the noughties.
"I think if that script had come over the transom a couple of years later… it was completely ahead of its time," says Goyer, ruefully. "Everything I see about Suicide Squad looks fantastic and it’s a different story. But [ours] was absolutely ahead of its time. You know, Marvel was considering doing the Sinister Six and at the time, God, I think this was eight or nine years ago that we wrote a couple of drafts, but it certainly was like this oddball project at Warner Bros at the time, they were like - even though the script was good - 'why would we make a movie about a bunch of villains? That makes no sense.'"
"The executive on it was really visionary", Goyer recalls, "but the higher-ups, none of whom are at Warner Bros any more, just thought at the time, you know, we just want to make Batman and Superman movies. We don’t want to make any other characters. But this is before Marvel had really taken off, before more obscure projects like Guardians Of The Galaxy or Ant-Man or things like that had huge success, before the current gold rush I guess, if you will. It’s natural that eventually someone was going to make a villain movie, so that’s just what happened!"
At least Goyer is pleasingly philosophical about it, and as he says, Warner has since seen the error of its ways. We can enjoy the fruits of that eureka moment when Suicide Squad opens on August 5 2016.