Director David Ayer has made it abundantly clear that his original cut of 2016’s SUICIDE SQUAD was not the final product we ended up getting. In fact, he has also stated that his cut was a much better and nuanced film before it went through several edits mandated by the studio. While this could very well be true for David Ayer, a producer on the film has come out and revealed that Ayer’s Cut tested pretty much the same as the version that was released to the masses.
During a chat with “The Hollywood Reporter“, producer Charles Roven revealed that both versions of the film tested virtually the same so that’s why the decision was made to come bine “the best of both versions.” According to Roven, “they tested exactly the same…we all sat in a room and tried to come up with what would be the best of both versions.” You can read Roven’s full statement below:
“We tested both versions. They tested exactly the same. Because they tested exactly the same, David and the studio and ourselves, meaning [Richard Suckle] and I and the heads of DC at that time — Jon Berg and Geoff Johns — we all sat in a room and tried to come up with what would be the best of both versions. Obviously, the movie made a really nice piece of change. Audiences liked it enough for us to want to do a sequel. But it definitely wasn’t the exact vision of David, and it definitely wasn’t the exact vision of the studio … That testing process, or what we call bake-off, that is not an unusual process. That happens, more than you might think. But most of the time, there is a clear winner. And usually, everybody agrees, “Well if we are going to do the bake-off, we should really go with the clear winner. Let the audience decide.” In this case, there wasn’t a clear winner. It literally came to the exact same place. They just liked different parts of the movie. Different audiences commented on different parts of the movie they liked better or not. That doesn’t always work to create the best movie, to be honest, it’s an imprecise process.”
It feels like Roven’s statement kind of puts a nail in the coffin of The Ayer Cut being a significantly better film than The Studio Cut. Test audiences don’t represent everyone that might see the film but it is a decent gauge of what the fanbase and demographic might think of the movie once it’s finally released. I’m having my doubts that Ayer’s version would’ve performed much better than the 26% rotten score it has on Rotten Tomatoes given the fact that test screenings indicated both versions of the film rated virtually the same. David Ayer is very close to Suicide Squad and it’s fair that he has certain feelings about the movie he was trying to make. That being said, maybe he’s too close to the project that he’s not 100% objective about his cut being significantly better. This may end up being one of those big mysteries that will never be solved because Warner Bros. doesn’t seem interested in releasing Ayer’s version and, because of that, we only have his word that his vision was much better than the film we ultimately received.
What are YOUR thoughts about both versions of Suicide Squad testing the same?