David Ayer Says ‘Suicide Squad’ Broke Him: ‘Hollywood Is Like Watching Someone You Love Get F—ed by Someone You Hate’

David Ayer appeared on the latest episode of Jon Bernthal’s “Real Ones” podcast and cited “Suicide Squad” as his biggest heartbreak in Hollywood. The director has been vocal over the last several years about the 2016 theatrical cut of “Suicide Squad” not being his preferred version of the film. That cut was widely panned by critics, but Ayer has long maintained that the studio changed the film’s entire tone from his original concept.

“Hollywood — I tell people — is like watching someone you love get fucked by someone you hate,” Ayer said when asked about his biggest Hollywood heartbreak. “The big one is ‘Suicide Squad.’ That shit broke me. That handed me my ass.”

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“Come right off ‘Fury,’ right? I had the town in my hand — could’ve done anything, and I did do anything,” Ayer continued. “And [I] go on this journey with [‘Suicide Squad’]. And the same thing — authentic, truthful, let’s do all the rehearsal, let’s really get in each other’s souls. Let’s create this amazing, collaborative thing, right? And then ‘Deadpool’ opened, right? And they never tested ‘Batman v. Superman,’ so they were expecting a different result, and then they got hammered by all the critics. Then it’s like, ‘Okay, we’re going to turn David Ayer’s dark, soulful movie into a fucking comedy now.’”

Ayer continues to use social media to advocate for the release of his “Suicide Squad” director’s cut, dubbed the “Ayer Cut.” In a recent post on X, the director informed his fans that new DC Studios boss James Gunn told him the Ayer Cut “would have its time to be shared.” Ayer provided no further information.

“All I know is my unseen film plays much better than the studio release,” Ayer wrote. “The interest in my cut being show seems real and organic. And Gunn told me it would have it’s time to be shared. He absolutely deserves to launch his DC universe without more drama about old projects. In a way I’m chained to this thing. I’m riding a tiger here and navigating this situation the best I can. Life is a very strange journey.”

Despite its critical bashing, Ayer’s “Suicide Squad” was a box office hit with $747 million worldwide. The film starred Will Smith and introduced Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. James Gunn directed his own Suicide Squad movie in 2021.

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