On the heels of comments made by Birds of Prey director Cathy Yan, who claimed that interference from Warner Bros. negatively impacted the Harley Quinn-led DCEU film, director James Gunn has revealed that his experience with the studio while making The Suicide Squad was notably different.
In a Twitter Q&A, Gunn told an inquiring fan that WB mostly left him alone when making The Suicide Squad, offering only a few suggestions that he was free to ignore.
“How much of this movie will be what you want it to be?” a fan asked Gunn on Twitter, noting that his concern was based on Warner Bros.’ “knack for editing a movie into s–t.”
Gunn replied, “#TheSuicideSquad is fully finished and cut and I made every single choice and they never once even slightly interfered,” adding that “They gave very few notes – they were usually good and minor and I took them if I wanted to and didn’t if I didn’t want to. Warners was creatively amazing.”
It could be that Warner Bros. trusted him implicitly, particularly due to Gunn’s admitted habit of finishing movies under-budget, including both Guardians of the Galaxy films and The Suicide Squad.
“I almost never think about this [financiers breathing down his neck], as I’m hyper focused on the storytelling & filmmaking for the years it takes to make a movie,” Gunn tweeted. “That said, because I’m prepared, I’ve come in millions of dollars under budget on Guardians Vols. 1 & 2 and The Suicide Squad.”
Gunn’s comments stand in stark contrast to those made by Yan, who implied in a recent interview that Birds of Prey turned out the way it did because WB didn’t give her, a rookie director, full creative control.
“I don’t know if there’s a Cathy Yan cut out there, but I think for any filmmaker, all of us are in it because we want to express ourselves as wholly as possible,” said Yan. “And to match what you ultimately see on screen with what’s in our head.”
There may be a grain of truth to Yan’s words, which have already been accepted as fact by a large swath of the DC fandom. All one has to do to find support for Yan’s claims is to look at the way Warner Bros. extensively rewrote, recut, and reshot Zack Snyder’s Justice League and David Ayer’s original Suicide Squad.
At the time, the regimes within Warner Bros. and DC were in flux at the time (not that things have gotten any better in the interim), with the vision for the DCEU changing by the minute. At least for now, the creative groups seemed to have settled on a creative direction, even if they’re trying to have their cake and it eat it too with the promotion of their multiverse concept.
To that end, we’re getting Zack Snyder’s Justice League, out in March on HBO Max, and James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad in August of this year. Meanwhile, David Ayer is ramping up the campaign to have his cut of the first SS finished and released, similar to the successful one which eventually led to the release of the Snyder Cut.
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