'Suicide Squad' director David Ayer says the studio cut is 'not his movie' 5 years after it was blasted by critics

·3 min read
David Ayer Tim P. Whitby
David Ayer. Tim P. Whitby/Getty
  • David Ayer has said 2016's "Suicide Squad" is not his version of the film.

  • Ayer said that only "a handful of people" have seen his cut of the film.

  • Ayer also said he is "proud" of James Gunn and he is "excited" to see his new Suicide Squad sequel.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Film director David Ayer said that neither the 10-week director's cut nor the theatrical studio cut of 2016's "Suicide Squad" were his official versions of the superhero film in an emotional letter posted to Twitter on Thursday.

The three-page letter begins with Ayer discussing how his difficult childhood and his time within the US military shaped his life before moving on to his experience working on "Suicide Squad."

"I put my life into 'Suicide Squad.' I made something amazing - My cut is intricate and emotional journey with some 'bad people' who are s--- on and discarded (a theme that resonates in my soul)," Ayer wrote.

"The studio cut is not my movie. Read that again. And my cut is not the 10-week director's cut - It's a fully mature edit by Lee Smith standing on the incredibly work by John Gilroy. It's all Steven Price's brilliant score, with not a single radio song in the whole thing."

Ayer later added that only "a handful of people" have seen his cut of the film and "if someone says they have seen it, they haven't."

A picture of David Ayer with Margot Robbie on the set of "Suicide Squad."
David Ayer with Margot Robbie on the set of "Suicide Squad." Warner Bros.

Ayer later wrote that his letter was not the entire story of his experience on "Suicide Squad."

"I never told my side of the story and I never will. Why?…I keep my covenants. I'm old school like that," he wrote. "I kept my mouth shut and took the tsunami of sometimes shockingly personal criticisms. Why? That's what I've done my whole life."

Ayer's letter was posted as a response to a tweet from Screen Daily's US film critic Tim Grierson who criticized the director's rumored personal cut of the superhero film in his review of director James Gunn's forthcoming remake of the franchise, titled "The Suicide Squad."

"Well, here's something I didn't expect to write: I really loved 'THE SUICIDE SQUAD,'" Grierson wrote, adding in a subsequent tweet, "Many times while watching the new movie, I thought, 'Yeah, David Ayer should just abandon the idea of that director's cut.'"

In his letter, Ayer said he was proud of James Gunn and is "excited" to see his version of the film.

"I support WB and am thrilled the franchise is getting the legs it needs," he wrote. "I'm rooting for everyone, the cast, the crew. Every movie is a miracle. And Jame's brilliant work will be the miracle of miracles."

Later in response, James Gunn tweeted: "All my love and admiration, friend."

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Ayer concluded his letter by saying that he will no longer speak publicly about "Suicide Squad."

James Gunn's "The Suicide Squad" is set for release in US theaters and on the HBO Max on August 6. In a review, Insider's entertainment correspondent Kirsten Acuna said Gunn's film is "one the smartest comic-book movies ever."

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