In case you've missed it, things aren't starting off well for Suicide Squad. While the film is still tracking for a $140M opening weekend, which would be music to the ears of Warner Bros., critical response has been savage. We've all heard the rumblings of problems on set, including what were weeks of extensive reshoots by director David Ayer, but according to THR the troubles run deeper than that with the studio's constant intervening a major issue.
For instance, the site quotes a source who says Warner Bros. chief Kevin Tsujihara announced the film and its release date before there was ever a script or creative direction in place, putting all of the pressure on Ayer.
"[Ayer] wrote the script in like, six weeks, and they just went...It's not just that you've told the public the movie is coming, you've made huge deals around the world with huge branding partners, with merchandise partners. It's a really big deal to move a tentpole date."
Tsujihara was apparently dumbfounded by the mediocre response to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and took action by interjecting "more fun" into the movie during those reshoots we heard so much about. The thing is, Ayer was still working on his cut, which was grittier and more serious, causing a mish-mash of tones that I would say definitely found its way into the final product. To assist in making sure the film matched the tone of the teaser everybody loved, Tsujihara hired Trailer Park, the company that edited the teaser footage.
So it seems that Tsujihara was working opposed to Ayer at almost every turn, but they found some common ground after testing both versions of the film with audiences. Still, this isn't the way a successful franchise is built. While I hate to use the Fantastic Four comparison because that movie was an utter failure that Suicide Squad definitely isn't, these behind-the-scenes struggles do have an impact. We've seen it too many times to count. When so much money is thrown around you expect studio's to be involved in the creative process, but they should be smart enough to know when to step back and trust in the filmmakers to do their jobs.
You can check out my review of the film here, and then check it out for yourself on August 5th.