Now that James Gunn’s and Ayer’s version of Suicide Squad is out, it is time for a deep dive into how the two directors tackled Task Force X in their own way. Not that one can compare the two given Ayer’s vision was scrapped by studio ex’s much like Snyder’s. However being a soft reboot Gunn’s version draws from Ayer’s work.
David Ayer’s suicide squad exists
While comparing the two versions, people should note that the 2016 version we had seen in the theatres was not David Ayer’s version. He has said multiple times on Twitter that his version was darker, had a lot more from Jared Leto’s Joker and Ben Affleck’s Batman. Also, a major plot point removed from the theatrical version was that Will Smith’s Deadshot and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn getting together at the end of the movie.
Watch: The original trailer for David Ayer’s Suicide Squad
So how do the two versions differ
It is apparent from the beginning that the two directors have totally different tones for their movies. David Ayer in his suicide squad went for a darker tone which was what DC movies were known at that point. Christopher Nolan with his Dark Knight trilogy and Zack Snyder who made Man Of Steel and Batman Vs Superman were all in the same sandbox.
But after the hierarchy changed at WB studios, they didn’t want their DC movies to have darker tones and instead looked at MCU and wanted those humorous and lighter tones. Hence Gunn was brought in and he did exactly that, a meaningless humorous movie with no consequences.
An understanding of criminal psychology vs mindless fun
While David Ayer tried to give the audience an understanding of these complex criminals and the abusive relationship between Joker and Harley, Gunn went in the opposite direction by killing characters just for the laughs and have no real meaning or depth in any of his characters. All of them are two-dimensional and have no real purpose.
Ayer’s version of Suicide Squad looked like a real DCEU movie, showcasing Joker Vs Batman, Flash vs Captain Boomerang and so many cool moments which we have come to expect from a DC film. Meanwhile, Gunn’s version of Suicide Squad has no such thing. The movie takes place on a fictional island and big DC characters have no place in this universe.
Fans have had their say on which version they preferred
And therefore it’s no surprise that the MCU-loving critics have loved Gunn’s version, the majority of the DC fans didn’t want this and thus it has flopped massively in the Box Office, failing even to recover its budget, which is disastrous. According to Box Office Mojo, DC’s The Suicide Squad has grossed only 26 million dollars domestically. It pales in comparison to the 2016 version by David Ayer’s suicide squad, which opened to a 133 million opening in the US alone and accumulating almost 700 million dollars worldwide.
The fact which makes James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad look like more of a flop is the fact WB studios had spent an additional 100 million on the marketing for the movie on top of the 185 million budget. That is a disastrous start to the new DCEU by WB and James Gunn. The only excuse of the pandemic also doesn’t hold much weight when Marvel’s Black Widow smashed records and earned almost 80 million dollars in its first domestic weekend and grossed almost 300 million worldwide while also being launched on Disney Plus, similar to The Suicide Squad being released on HBO Max.