Is Warner Bros. Their Own Worst Enemy?
Here we go again!!
A new report from The Hollywood Reporter indicates that Warner Bros. has once again stuck their hands in the cookie jar one too many times. This time the cookie jar belongs to David Ayer (Suicide Squad). This is not the first time Warner Bros. has been accused of tampering with a directors film. Just this year there were reports that Warner Bros. went into a panic with the run time of Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman film and cut the film down to 2.5 hours from 3 hours. Early test screenings and studio screenings reported that the studio was happy with the cut at first and gave it a standing ovation. The version that received the greatest applause was not the final version. When the theatrical cut was released it was panned by critics for having terrible editing and incoherent plot. Fans wondered why Warner Bros. would cut a film that was so well received but it was apparent that they were worried about a three-hour run time. The studio went into defense mode and quickly announced the Ultimate Edition would be coming out which added the 30 minutes back cut from the film. This edition has been praised by fans and even the fans who disliked the original cut agree that the Ultimate Cut fixes a lot of editing issues. I have seen the Ultimate Cut and I agree that it was the far superior version and the one Warner Bros. should have went with for their March 25th release. Now it seems that Ayer is the victim of the exact same scenario.
The report says that Warner Bros. rushed Ayer into writing the script which he did in six weeks but told the studio he needed more time. Warner Bros balked at this request and said that pushing the film back wasn’t happening. After the response to Batman v Superman the studio went into full panic mode and worried that the film would not deliver on the tone set by the trailers. There were reports that re-shoots were added to make the movie more ‘FUN’. The report also says that several editors were brought in to work on the film to get it fixed. The studio even went as far as screening both Ayer’s cut and the edited version for test audiences. Reddit users who saw the early screenings and the final cut agree that the final film is very different from what they saw. Users have posted that several Joker scenes have been cut and that scenes were arranged differently. There were even lighter moments added to the final cut of the film which suggest that Warner Bros. did have re-shoots to add some FUN factor into it. I have seen reports that the Joker scenes did not test well due to violence/abuse with Harley so those scenes were trimmed down or cut out. Warner Bros. clearly did not like the tone of Ayer’s film and this seems to be one of the biggest complaint with critics. The film currently sits at a 33% on Rotten Tomatoes and consensus from critics is that the tone of the film is all over the place, its directing is choppy, and once again the editing is terrible. Editing problems seem to be a common theme among Warner Bros. DC films.
Warner Bros. has hired two visionary directors in Zack Snyder and David Ayer. Both directors set out with a specific vision of how their film would be and in the end the studio has butchered their work and its cost them money and its set a Rotten reputation with critics. Warner Bros. is walking around with two left feet and its a shame that they can’t ride and die with what their directors have put together. I know every movie has edits but it seems like WB should have been directing/editing the films themselves because they have tampered with two films now and its showing. Now we have to wait and see the final verdict on Suicide Squad and where its Box-office will land but there is no doubt that Batman v Superman could have made closer to one billion had they released the Ultimate Edition in the first place. The second biggest home release this year was Batman v Superman, Star Wars was first.
As a fan I hope that Suicide Squad delivers. I think it has a terrific cast and they all seem like they had a fun time making the movie. With a reported budget of $175 million, the insiders are saying the film needs to make $750-800 million to be considered a win for the studio. Ticket sales and early tracking suggest an opening weekend of $130-$140 million which would be a huge win but the film will need legs, something Batman v Superman did not have. We know we are getting at least two more DC films as Wonder Woman is in the can and Justice League is currently in production but will the trend of WB tampering with films continue or will they finally learn their lesson. Warner Bros. has brought on Geoff Johns to be head the DC Universe, hopefully he can be the Kevin Feige that DC needs so badly. We need someone to step in and be a voice for the directors and stand up for their work.
Geoff Johns if you are listening or read this “Please save the DC Universe!!!”
Please comment below and let us know if you agree or disagree. As always stay tuned to MFST for all your DC/Marvel news.
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