Suicide Squad‘s highly anticipated debut has proven to be a lot more complicated than the runaway hit that many were expecting. Though the film has enjoyed an excellent box office performance so far, that performance has been in defiance of a swathe of negative reviews and reports of a troubled production with warring cuts of the movie. Suicide Squad has definitely found fans thanks to its strong cast and fun vibe, but the movie’s director and cast have spent the past couple of weeks being probed for reactions to the bad reviews.
For his part, director David Ayer has fiercely stood behind the theatrical cut of the movie, throwing in a dig at critics by saying that he “made the movie for real people… people who actually love movies and go and see movies.” Joel Kinnaman, who plays team leader Rick Flag, has admitted that he stopped reading the reviews after the first couple, since they were “not kind,” but echoed Ayer’s sentiments by saying, “We made this film for the fans.”
The actor who has perhaps been most pursued for responses, however, is Jared Leto, whose much-hyped portrayal of the Joker was largely left on the cutting room floor. This week, some more of Leto’s comments on Suicide Squad got caught up in a telephone game and caused a bit of a stir, after a short video recorded during a Q&A session at Camp Mars (a summer camp for fans of Leto’s band, Thirty Seconds to Mars) showed the actor saying “F*** ’em” in reference to stipulations in his contract with Warner Bros.
Leto was actually referring to taking part in risky activities like rock climbing, and the comment was obviously in jest (watch the video above), but the comment ended up being quoted in headlines like the fantastically misleading “Jared Leto has two words to Warner Bros over Suicide Squad: ‘F*ck ’em'”. The fan who recorded the video also shared an account of the Q&A session on their personal blog, in which they said:
He was very honest about the film this weekend; his disappointment in what he’s learned of the theatrical cut (he’s still not seen the film); feeling sort of tricked into being a part of something that had been pitched to him very differently; thinking it would’ve been more artistic than what it became; feeling overwhelmed by the hate regarding the look and choices.
After the story blew up, the fan deleted the post and posted a follow-up, which criticized the media for taking their comments and the video out of context:
Obviously the bad reviews aren’t going to make any of Suicide Squad‘s cast members particularly happy, and Leto doubtless would have preferred it if more of his work had made it into the movie. However, it’s worth noting that the actor hasn’t yet seen the theatrical cut, and we don’t yet have any direct quotes regarding him feeling “tricked” into making a different movie than what was pitched to him. We’ll keep an eye out for any more footage from the Q&A session, however, and update if exact quotes become available.
Suicide Squad is in theaters now. Wonder Woman opens on June 2, 2017; Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The Flash and Batman solo movie are currently without release dates.