WMNews: What Happened with Suicide Squad?

Script written by Sean Harris Sometimes it’s best to be bad. Welcome to WatchMojo News, the weekly series where we break down news stories that might be on your radar. In this instalment, we’re counting down 5 crucial facts you should know about the blockbuster movie release of “Suicide Squad.
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Script written by Sean Harris

WMNews - Suicide Squad Release


Sometimes it’s best to be bad. Welcome to WatchMojo News, the weekly series where we break down news stories that might be on your radar. In this installment, we’re counting down 5 crucial facts you should know about the blockbuster movie release of “Suicide Squad.”

#5: Why Was “Suicide Squad” Such a Big Deal?
The Cast

After a less than lukewarm response to 2013’s “Man of Steel” and 2016’s “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice,” critics and fans alike turned to “Suicide Squad” as the third film and cinematic savior of DC’s Extended Universe. An all-star cast including Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, and Will Smith, and a series of super-slick trailers sent hype levels to heroic heights. And the movie’s $175 million budget made mammoth expectations even bigger. Taglined ‘Justice has a bad side,’ “Suicide Squad” looked as though it was set to reinvent the superhero genre; as Viola Davis says in almost every promo clip, this is “a team of some very bad people.” The movie hands big screen debuts to some of the comic world’s most exciting characters, but it was perhaps Jared Leto’s take on the Joker that most caught moviegoers’ attention. After Heath Ledger’s legendary performance in the Dark Knight Trilogy and Jack Nicholson’s in 1989’s “Batman,” could Leto’s crazed crown possibly match up? 

#4: How Did the Filming of “Suicide Squad” Go?
The Mistakes

According to reports, “Suicide Squad” suffered various issues during development including multiple re-edits and a highly ambitious production schedule. Bound by a strict summer 2016 release date, director David Ayer had just under two years to make the movie. The first major setback came in January 2015 when Tom Hardy pulled out of playing Rick Flag because of shooting commitments with “The Revenant.” Hardy was swiftly replaced with Joel Kinnaman but the rush to write a script was allegedly ongoing, and Ayer’s finished product was apparently eventually reshaped by producers after fans ate up the fun tone of the early trailers. The cast was called back for significant reshoots, with a few sources saying that was done to add more action. However, most believed that the reshoots were designed to lighten the overall vibe of the film, and that ultimately the movie was extensively recut to include more comedic parts. The re-edits caused some controversy though; Jared Leto was reportedly unhappy about the number of scenes involving the Joker that were shelved, causing fans to call for a ‘Joker cut’ release in the future. After all, he’d prepared significantly for his role, apparently meeting with both doctors and psychopaths for context, refusing to be acknowledged as anyone other than the Joker on-set, and even going so far as to send his costars live rats, dead pigs and bullets as psychologically torturous gifts.

#3: How Was “Suicide Squad” Received by Critics?
The Ratings

Much like the DC movies before it, the critical response to “Suicide Squad” was largely negative. Two weeks after its release, the film was rated at 40% on Metacritic and had a lowly 27% approval rate on Rotten Tomatoes. For Wired, it “kinda sucks”; the Atlantic describes it as ‘the worst of the worst’; the Guardian’s review leads with ‘too many crooks spoil the plot’, and the Telegraph labels the movie a ‘semi-pornographic slog.’ It wasn’t all bad though; Empire magazine tapped into the lighter mood of “Suicide Squad,” describing it as ‘a real hoot’ and drawing particular attention to Margot Robbie’s character, Harley Quinn, suggesting she almost steals the show. Members of the cast have admitted to being bothered by the negative coverage, but they’ve also underlined that “Suicide Squad” was a movie made for the fans. During an interview with Reuters, Cara Delevingne – who plays the Enchantress - described the critics as ‘absolutely horrific’, while Jay Hernandez – AKA El Diablo – explained to Digital Spy how he hoped the movie was what the fans wanted.

#2: How Was “Suicide Squad” Received by Moviegoers?
The Petition

The fans’ response was much more balanced, with some more disgruntled with the bad reviews than with the movie itself. In the aftermath of the film’s release, an online petition was set-up in an attempt to close down Rotten Tomatoes, where some of Suicide Squad’s harshest reviews are listed. Abdullah Coldwater argued on change.org that critics and audiences had become disconnected, and that movie criticism wasn’t always the best gauge of a movie’s quality – over 22,000 people signed up in support. However, some fans tackled the moviemakers, arguing that the film’s lack of Joker scenes equated to false advertising. Jared Leto had previously claimed that there was enough deleted Joker material to make another full movie, and one Reddit user even threatened to sue Warner Bros and DC Comics over Joker’s lack of screen time. Indeed, there has been a fan backlash against Suicide Squad producers brought on by the changes forced through during the editing process; according to Cinema Blend, there were at least 20 shots shown in trailers that didn’t appear in the final movie. 

#1: Will There Be a Second “Suicide Squad” Movie?
The Future

As a character ensemble movie, “Suicide Squad” looks set to trigger various standalone films in the future – and there is already significant talk of a direct sequel, which could be R-rated. Despite negative criticism, “Suicide Squad” performed exceptionally well on opening weekend, drawing record August figures at the box office. And while numbers dipped significantly during the second week, the commercial value is clear. There is increasing speculation that the Joker/Harley Quinn relationship could be central to a second film or spinoff, or that perhaps the pair will feature as villains to a DC hero in another movie. However the story is continued, it’s certain to generate even more hype and publicity. The critics may not have enjoyed their first outing, but it’s difficult to see this ‘squad’ disappearing from our screens without an almighty fight – as Harley Quinn says, they’re ‘bad guys’ and it’s just ‘what they do’.

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