Even though it brought in $747 million worldwide, few would consider director David Ayer’s Suicide Squad an out-and-out win for the DC Extended Universe. Sure, the film turned a tidy profit, but Suicide Squad‘s lackluster reception otherwise has cast a shadow over the DCEU.
After all, since then, only Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn has reappeared in a Birds of Prey spin-off. Meanwhile, Joaquin Phoenix — not Jared Leto — led an Oscar-winning Joker movie. Even James Gunn’s forthcoming The Suicide Squad is part-sequel, part-reboot.
Now, following Gunn’s trip across the aisle from Marvel to DC, some fans want to see Ayer make a Marvel movie next.
The production drama of ‘Suicide Squad’
Suicide Squad is arguably better known for its behind-the-scenes shake-ups than its actual story. As only the third entry in the DCEU, the movie suffered from the studio’s lack of confidence in the brand and lack of future planning. As such, the final product was very different from Ayer’s original vision. In fact, Suicide Squad once led directly into Justice League.
Most notoriously, Warner Bros. took its filmmaking cues from the film’s marketing campaign instead of the other way around. After an early trailer elicited a strong positive response, the studio hired the company that cut the trailer footage to make their own edit of the film. And ultimately, that’s the version audiences saw in theaters.
Rather than allowing Ayer to do the job he was hired for, Warner Bros. aimed to draw inspiration from Marvel’s success with Guardians of the Galaxy. Right down to the pop-heavy soundtrack, Suicide Squad felt like a mishmash of tones and voices rather than a cohesive whole. No wonder Warner Bros. hired Gunn to write and direct the follow-up.
Director David Ayer recently praised Marvel Studios’ process
For his part, Ayer has been very open about his disappointment in the released version of Suicide Squad. The likelihood of him working with the DCEU again is slim. But some fans would love to see the director get another shot at a comic book property. When the topic of Ayer moving over to Marvel came up on Twitter, the director was quick to praise Marvel Studios.
In particular, Ayer called out the strategy Marvel uses to schedule its productions. Rather than trying to squeeze in additional photography after the fact, Marvel Studios assumes a certain amount of reshoots. So each film includes this on the schedule after principal photography is completed and the footage has been reviewed.
Ayer’s comment feels like it speaks directly to his initial experience working within the DCEU. For a while, Ayer planned to make either a Suicide Squad sequel or Gotham City Sirens for the DCEU, though it’s unclear if that project is still a go. But even if he doesn’t work with DC Films again, it does seem like Ayer would be open to taking on another superhero property.
Fans know exactly which Marvel character they want Ayer to take on
If Ayer moves over to Marvel, fans are rooting for him to make a Namor movie. While the character is often compared to DC’s Aquaman, Namor the Sub-mariner actually pre-dates him by two years. But because Warner Bros.’ Aquaman hit the big screen first, any Namor movie would have to distinguish itself. Ayer’s hard-edged Suicide Squad approach could help.
Still, Ayer would be an interesting choice to do so. Even the director himself seems at least intrigued by the idea, responding with a thoughtful emoticon on Twitter. Alas, Marvel Studios hasn’t announced plans for Namor just yet, as Universal holds a stake in the character’s rights. If that changes though, perhaps Ayer could have his chance to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe.