Filmmaker David Ayer (Fury, Training Day) took a lot of heat over his writing and directing work in last year’s DC mashup Suicide Squad — a strange, clunky, antihero movie that made a boatload of money despite brutal reviews. Suicide Squad was also an incredibly expensive film ($175M budget), so it was fortunate that the film’s insane premise and star power were enough to bring in a solid global audience (Man of Steel and Batman v Superman were similarly expensive, polarizing, and profitable, too).
According to THR, Ayer was new to big-budget, blockbuster filmmaking; he was hired precisely because he was young, relatively inexperienced, and willing to swing for the fences. The downside of this opportunity was that Ayer only had about six weeks to write the Suicide Squad script, and then he jumped directly into production that was already branded with a release date.
More than a year later, Ayer responded to a fan question on Twitter, regarding his Suicide Squad experience. Ayer doesn’t blink when recounting the film’s accomplishments or the role he played, although he doesn’t comment on the overall quality of his effort:
Not for a second. Not for one second. I got to work with amazing people. It won an Oscar, did incredible business. Launched a franchise and spinoff. And like it or not it’s halfway to cult status. I grew as a person, grew creatively. Warners took a chance on me. I’m grateful.
— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) December 2, 2017
Ayer is a smart, cagey filmmaker. He clearly realizes that there’s nothing to be gained by bashing WB over the conditions underlying Suicide Squad‘s creation, and the film’s box office surely hasn’t harmed his career. Subsequent to Suicide Squad, Ayer has been busy; he’s attached to DC’s Gotham City Sirens (an all-female antihero film), he’s writing scripts for a Training Day TV series, and his epic sci-fi/fantasy Netflix movie, Bright, is about to debut on the streaming service. Not much to cry about there, right?
Ayer took an enormous risk jumping onto Suicide Squad, and it paid off big-time for him (and DC and WB too). Given the struggles of other young, up-and-coming filmmakers, like Josh Trank, it’s even more remarkable what Ayer has achieved, he’s a remarkably talented and pragmatic creator. I can’t wait to see how Bright turns out.
Where does Suicide Squad rank in your list of best or worst DC movies? Let us know in the comments down below!