Harley Quinn in the Suicide Squad Trailer. Image via YouTube
To the Studio: Get Out Of The Way
Studio involvement is another huge problem with the DCEU. For Suicide Squad, the department heads meddled so much it became an entirely different movie (for better or for worse). It was a troubled production from the get-go.
Director David Ayer had never done a tentpole movie, but his action films Fury and End of Watch were well received. He was given six weeks to complete a script and then production started immediately. The release date was set in stone and the film had to meet that deadline, no matter what.
Then, infamously, the trailer got a lot of buzz and the studio wanted the finished product to look like that. The trailer company now got to come in and re-cut the movie to match the trailer, which is almost unheard of in Hollywood. This lead to reshoots, and then audiences got to see a jumbled up film on screen.
To recap: the film release date was chosen and locked down before a script was written, they pulled that together in three weeks and ran fast into production, an outside company got to reshape the movie to fit the trailer and were somehow surprised that the finished product wasn’t a masterpiece.
Ayer is an interesting director with a good track record of films, and his vision for the movie – if he had more time and more control – could have been interesting. We’ll never know if it would have been great, but it would have been worth it to find out.
Making movies by committee with your only priority being money will never result in a good film.