SUICIDE SQUAD

In contrast to the deathly seriousness of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the trailers for Suicide Squad have been all about fun. Here, finally, are some characters who aren’t afraid to get sassy and sarcastic, who wear brightly colored outfits, who chug beers and beat up people and blow up stuff instead of gazing off into the distance and wondering what it all means. Here’s a movie with so much kinetic action it can only be set to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

But it seems Warner Bros. is still worried Suicide Squad isn’t quite fun enough, and so it’s going out of its way to make sure it is. The supervillain team-up is now undergoing some significant reshoots meant to bring more humor and levity into the film. 

Birth.Movies.Death has the scoop on the Suicide Squad reshoots. According to their source, the latest trailer for Suicide Squad — you know, the “Bohemian Rhapsody” one — is actually a bit misleading, in that it gives away every joke in the movie. But after audiences responded enthusiastically to that promo (and, presumably, after fans responded less enthusiastically to the gloom and doom of Batman v Superman), the studio requested reshoots intended to help Suicide Squad lighten up a bit. This film sure has come a long way from the days when the cast and crew were bragging about how this film was so “dark,” director David Ayer had to hire an on-set therapist.

While it’s not uncommon for big-budget blockbusters to undergo some last-minute tweaking, the Suicide Squad reshoots are significant, costing tens of millions of dollars. But they’re less about creating entirely new gags than they are about “beefing up fun character moments and interactions.” In other words, Suicide Squad isn’t magically going to become Deadpool or Guardians of the Galaxy; the filmmakers and studio are just trying to steer it away from the dourness of Batman v Superman.

This could be a smart move. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has its charms, but a winning sense of humor isn’t one of them. And despite being a precursor to Justice League, there’s not a ton of interaction between the characters. Superman and Wonder Woman barely even exchange glances, which takes away some of the fun of seeing these iconic characters join forces on the big screen for the very first time. Suicide Squad has some very unusual characters, so why not lean into their weird, loopy appeal?

On the other hand, there’s only so much reshoots can do at this point, so let’s hope this isn’t a last-minute, last-ditch effort to Suicide Squad into something it’s not. There is such a thing as responding too eagerly to fan feedback — Batman v Superman, for example, tries to preempt some of the criticism that surrounded Man of Steel by having talking heads point out repeatedly that the climactic showdown is taking place in a basically deserted area, to increasingly ludicrous effect.

Warner Bros. had a lot riding on Batman v Superman, and while the studio can breathe a bit easier now that the film’s collected $500 million worldwide, the mixed fan reaction makes it a less than rock-solid foundation for the rest of the DC Extended Universe. If Suicide Squad disappoints, it’ll be all the more difficult for Warner Bros. to build the rest of that franchise. It’s no wonder the studio is so determined to get it right this time.

Suicide Squad — now with more jokes! — opens August 5, 2015.

 

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