The advance of technology in Hollywood has been used to achieve some amazing things in recent years, from creating a jungle filled with digital animals in The Jungle Book, to de-ageing Robert Downey Jr. and Michael Douglas by decades in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. More than ever, it's becoming hard to tell just how much of what we see on screen is real, and how much is digital trickery.
David Ayer's upcoming movie Suicide Squad caused a bit of a stir when it went into reshoots, due to rumors and speculation that Warner Bros. was trying to reflexively add more humor in the wake of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice being criticized for its solemn tone. In hindsight it sounds like the reshoots were nothing out of the ordinary, but between the release of recent character trailers and the release of a special soundtrack sizzle reel created for San Diego Comic-Con 2016, there was one change made that didn't require any reshoots at all - just some digital airbrushing.
In the comparison video above, Bleeding Cool suggests that Warner Bros. used digital editing to shorten Harley's already very short short-shorts in order to show off more of the character's buttcheeks. All of the other characters have the exact same expressions and positions during the shot, so it's clear that the change was made in post-production rather than being a part of the reshoots. The question is... why?
The more scandalous answer would be that Warner Bros. is trying to sell a movie, and decided that the best way to do that was with Harley Quinn's rear end (it's been highlighted in trailers before) rather than with Ayer's punky aesthetic or the catchy soundtrack. If that were the case then the change could prove to be pretty controversial, given the fact that Harley's skimpy outfit and overt sexualization have already attracted some criticism.
However, it could also be the case that Bleeding Cool made a false assumption; the more likely explanation is that the Hall H footage shows Robbie's shorts in their unedited form, and the version in her character trailer was edited to cover more buttcheek. After all, the Hall H footage was only intended to be shown in Hall H and online, whereas Harley's character trailer (and any TV spots featuring that shot) are intended to be shown on TV. Harley's shorts may simply have been considered too risqué for daytime TV in their unedited form.
UPDATE: One helpful fan has provided convincing evidence that the shorter shorts are indeed the true shorts:
.@bleedingcool No they weren't
It was the other way around
Nice try though pic.twitter.com/lVLaS5GtK8
— Solid Snack (@Joel9Vieira) July 30, 2016
If nothing else, this has been an interesting lesson in the power of modern movie magic. When we see a butt in a movie, can we ever truly be sure that the butt is real?
Suicide Squad is scheduled to arrive in theaters on August 5, 2016; Wonder Woman is slated for release on June 2, 2017; followed by 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 is without release date.
Source: Bleeding Cool