Since much talk about Suicide Squad, the latest addition to the DC Extended Universe, has been split between the film's reception and box office success, it's often easy to forget just how much work goes into making a movie of its size. After all, the film spent roughly several years in development, and took four to five months and a $175 million budget to make. As a point of comparison, Captain America: Civil War and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice both sported budgets of $250 million, and Watchmen cost around $130 million.
Still, it's one thing to throw around numbers, and something entirely different to learn more about where that money actually goes. Luckily, fans have now gotten an inside look into the making of Suicide Squad, thanks to VFX team Motion Picture Company having poster some behind the scenes before and after photos on its Facebook page.
The pictures (see below) show stills from Suicide Squad's production that made it into the final cut of the film, first as they were during the shoot, then as they appeared after applying visual effects. The differences are staggering: much of the production stills feature fully made-up and costumed characters against green backdrops and scaffolding, while their post-production counterparts turn that negative space into skylines, waterfronts, and explosions. MPC's team also gave the villain-heroes their superpowers, with some of the pictures revealing how El Diablo got his firepower, or how Enchantress worked her dark magic.
Visual effects are commonplace today, especially in franchise films, but it's still incredible to see just how integral they can be to a film's makeup. It's easy to assume that El Diablo's flame powers would be added in as VFX, for instance, but we tend to take for granted some of the less flashy jobs performed by VFX teams: cleaning up vistas, subbing in backdrops, and tweaking lighting, for instance. Judging by these pictures, much of Gotham City would have ceased to exist without the help of MPC's team. VFX have certainly come a long way in the past few decades, and now we can see films like The Great Gatsby brought to life almost largely by post-production effects.
As wonderful as it is to see how a film can exemplify the magic of movie-making, grand visual effects have little to no impact on the quality of the script. Many critics have called this Suicide Squad's fatal flaw, with Screen Rant's own review calling the effects work "striking," but noting that the script was rife with plot holes and flaccid jokes.
Of course, film buffs and/or critics often disagree, and Suicide Squad's outstanding box office stats show that support for the film has not wavered despite its reviews. An inside look into the making of Suicide Squad is certainly valuable to millions of DCEU lovers across the world, especially while fans decide between impatiently waiting for the film's Blu-ray/DVD release and going to see it in theatres yet again.
Suicide Squad is now playing in theaters. Wonder Woman opens in theaters 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, The Batman solo movie, Dark Universe and Man of Steel 2 are currently without a release dates.