We've just passed the one year anniversary of Justice League's theatrical release, which also marks a full year of DC fans begging to see the "Snyder Cut" of the movie. However, while seeing Zack Snyder's original vision for his superhero team-up movie would definitely be cool, it's actually less likely than the release of an "Ayer Cut" of David Ayer's supervillain team-up movie Suicide Squad.
To start things off on a downer note, neither cut is looking particularly likely at the moment. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which was also directed by Snyder, got an R-rated "Ultimate Edition" with an extra half-hour of footage, which was released digitally and on Blu-ray. However, the home video releases of Justice League and Suicide Squad have come and gone, and while Suicide Squad also got an Extended Cut, we haven't heard anything official from Warner Bros. about plans to release an alternate "director's cut" version of either film.
But in a world where Deadpool can spontaneously get a PG-13 re-cut version of Deadpool 2 starring a kidnapped Fred Savage, it's not unreasonable for DC fans to hope for different (and hopefully better) cuts of Justice League and Suicide Squad. Moreover, Ayer has recently been conversing with fans about an original cut of the movie that was shown to test audiences. Around the time of Suicide Squad's release, Ayer was adamant that the theatrical cut was his director's cut, but that didn't quite gel with reports of the studio ordering major reshoots to make the movie better fit with what they thought audiences wanted. More recently, Ayer has described the making of Suicide Squad as a "rough patch" on Twitter, and has been revealing details about his original cut of the film:
Ayer is currently attached to direct a spinoff of Suicide Squad called Gotham City Sirens, which would see Harley Quinn teaming up with Poison Ivy and Catwoman, so he's got his hands full with a DC project already. The director was keen to emphasize in a different tweet that the choice to release a different cut of Suicide Squad is out of his hands now, explaining, "I have no control or access to old work media from any of my films. The copyright holder controls it. The media isn’t in releasable form anyway. It only exists as archived editorial files. It would be incredibly expensive to rerelease and market."
That being said, it seems that an "Ayer Cut" of Suicide Squad does actually already exist - unlike the "Snyder Cut," which would still need to be pieced together. Snyder officially exited Justice League in May 2017, and The Avengers director Joss Whedon was brought in to oversee the reshoots that would ultimately make up a considerable portion of the movie. Because Snyder left so early in the post-production stage, however, it's doubtful that he got any further than an assembly cut at most. By contrast, Ayer worked on Suicide Squad throughout post-production and even test-screened an early cut of the movie.
Now, that test-screened version wouldn't have been quite as polished as the theatrical version, but the fact that it exists means that turning it into something that could be released would almost certainly be easier than pulling together the "Snyder Cut" of Justice League. Suicide Squad also has the advantage of being more successful than Justice League at the box office, and in general contributing to the future framework of the DC Extended Universe more than Justice League did (Suicide Squad 2, Gotham City Sirens, and a Harley Quinn/Joker movie are all in development, while there's been no news of Justice League 2 or another Superman movie).
If we ever do get to see the "Ayer Cut" of Suicide Squad, it will likely be bundled into the home video release of one of the aforementioned upcoming movies - or perhaps Suicide Squad will get its own special edition re-release somewhere down the line. Until then, all fans can do is take a tip from Superman's chest... and hope.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020