David Ayer’s Suicide Squad has finally hit theaters around the world – and similar to what happened with the release of this year’s other entry in the DC Extended Universe (director Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice), it seems as though just about everyone’s now debating whether Ayer’s comic book film adaptation is great, terrible, or something in-between. One element of the film that most people seem to appreciate, however, is that of the film’s pop musical selections: a combination of retro songs (“Fortunate Son”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”) and original tunes that are themed around the eponymous “Skwad” (“Heathens”, “Sucker for Pain”).
The songs in Suicide Squad not only inform the film’s themes and plot beats, but are frequently direct reflections of the main characters themselves. Similarly, hip-hop culture is a clear influence on the film’s versions of such iconic comic book characters as The Joker (Jared Leto) – who, in Ayer’s movie, is something of a cross between a gangster (with a taste for theatricality) and DC supervillain – and the underworld that he and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) rule over. Now, Ayer has revealed one rather specific musical influence on Suicide Squad‘s aesthetic.
To be fair, musical/cinematic influence would be the more appropriate way of putting, as Ayer revealed to Empire that the 1982 film Pink Floyd’s The Wall directly inspired one particular Suicide Squad sequence (see below):
David Ayer told us today that the scene with Joker on the floor is inspired by the opening of Pink Floyd's The Wall. pic.twitter.com/XwyGE7i5Zw— Nick de Semlyen (@NickdeSemlyen) August 5, 2016
The Suicide Squad scene in question (without revealing too much information for those who have yet to see the film) does suggest a method to the Joker’s madness; not only in how his weaponry is placed around him, but the objects that lie among the many knives and sharp blades around him (possibly alluding to his future plans with Harley). In that respect alone, there’s a clear parallel to the scene that inspired it from The Wall, wherein the movie’s protagonist “Pink” (Bob Geldof) seems to be lost in his own world in his hotel room – until a change in camera angle reveals that he too is placing objects around him in a particular fashion, offering insight into his own state of being.
As mentioned before, though, the debate of how much method there is in Suicide Squad‘s madness in general (and how much of it can be chalked up to, simply, the movie being a mess) is one that has only just begun. Then again, one imagines that Pink Floyd might even be pleased that its music/film work has inspired another piece of pop art that has gotten such an impassioned and varied reception.
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.