Suicide Squad, the latest DC Extended Universe movie, is set for release this Friday, and it’s safe to say the early word is mixed. On the one hand, critical reviews have mostly been negative, leading to the usual handwringing about critics’ supposed bias for Disney/Marvel and against Warner/DC - including one brave petitioner’s quixotic quest to get Rotten Tomatoes thrown off the Internet.
Lost in the shuffle of the reviews, reports of studio/filmmaker tensions and other controversies, as well as various stories about Jared Leto’s obsessed behavior on and off set, is another revelation about Suicide Squad: While Leto’s work as the Joker has been largely praised, it’s been noted by multiple critics that Leto is not in the film a whole lot, including a lengthy stretch when he disappears completely.
According to a report in Heroic Hollywood, citing a Spanish language interview with Tele Star, Leto says that many of scenes he shot were not used in the final film:
“There are a lot of scenes that didn’t make it to the final film, hopefully they will see the light of day. Who knows…"
Much of the marketing of the film featured all of the characters together, the Joker included. But in the actual film, Leto’s character is mostly separated from the main Suicide Squad cast members, with The Joker barely figuring in the film’s primary plot. His relationship with Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) is also clearly important, but even those two are only on screen together for a short time.
When it comes to this, the usual caveats apply about translations from foreign language interviews. It’s also not especially clear from the quote that a whole lot of Leto’s work was originally set as part of the film but left on the cutting room floor. After all, every movie shoots footage that’s ultimately not used in the film itself; perhaps some of the unused Joker footage will make an appearance in a future extended edition, in the tradition of Batman v. Superman’s Ultimate Edition extended cut.
With all of the intrigue going on behind the scenes, Suicide Squad might one day emerge as one of those movies in which the story of what wrong is way more interesting than the story told by the movie itself. Then again, considering how high the box office is tracking, maybe it won’t go down as such a failure after all.
Suicide Squad is scheduled to arrive in theaters on August 5, 2016, followed by Wonder Woman 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.
Source: Heroic Hollywood/Tele Star