Suicide Squad director David Ayer says he intended film to be ‘profound’, after blaming ‘politics’ for Harley Quinn criticism

Filmmaker was responding to claims that his version of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn was ‘sexualised eye candy’

Adam White
Tuesday 21 April 2020 10:07
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Suicide Squad director David Ayer has claimed his film was intended to be “profound”, weeks after blaming politics for criticism of how it depicted Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn.

The filmmaker, who was replaced by James Gunn for next year’s Suicide Squad sequel, said that his critically maligned film was ultimately “diluted”.

Responding to criticism about the film on Twitter, Ayer wrote: “Suicide Squad hits a very deep nerve in many people. I was going for something more esoteric and profound but it was diluted. The roots are still visible.”

Ayer, who regularly uses Twitter to discuss the filmmaking process behind the polarising DC Comics adaptation, also said that he was “growing and learning”, weeks after appearing to blame politics for some of the backlash to the movie.

On 11 April, Ayer defended his interpretation of Harley Quinn in the movie, after a follower complained that she was “sexualised eye candy” in comparison to her recent spin-off movie Birds of Prey.

“Sadly her story arc was eviscerated,” Ayer wrote. “It was her movie in so many ways. Look I tried. I rendered Harley comic book accurate. Everything is political now. Everything. I just want to entertain. I will do better.”

Ayer appeared to shift his perspective, however, when a different person rebuked his original stance. “A female character in an abusive relationship is already political, my dude,” the Twitter user wrote. “The way your camera looked at her was political. The way you used her was political. You treated her as an object and she still rose above it. That was political too.”

Ayer shared the tweet, writing: “Retweeting because this is very thoughtfully written. Thank you for this. I am growing and learning in a changing world.”

Suicide Squad was an enormous hit in 2016, grossing more than $700m at the global box office, but was also eviscerated by critics. Birds of Prey, which spun off Robbie’s Harley Quinn, was released in February. A Suicide Squad reboot, titled The Suicide Squad, is scheduled to open on 6 August, 2021.

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