After Zack Snyder's cut of Justice League was confirmed to be on its way to HBO Max in 2021, fans have speculated if David Ayer's cut of Suicide Squad was next. Ayer recently expressed his support of the #ReleaseTheAyerCut movement, and the writer/ director has been very active on social media recently to reveal and explain deleted parts of his initial version of the film.
David Ayer recently explained how additions to his film completely broke the timeline he had set for Harley Quinn and the Joker's side plot. The Harley Quinn and Joker relationship in particular has been the cause for much controversy surrounding the film, particularly with complaints about how Suicide Squad romanticizes a historically abusive relationship.
With all the scenes that hit the cutting room floor, fans have always assumed there was more nuance in the portrayal of the couple that never made it to theaters, and now David Ayer seems to have confirmed it.
Suicide Squad writer/ director David Ayer responded to some fan's questions concerning Harley Quinn and the Joker's relationship and how much consent was there between the couple. Ayer states:
Fans then took to the comments in order to figure out what Ayer meant by that statement, attempting to discover if the director was referring to certain parts of the final film, or scenes/ concepts that were completely deleted. Ayer then responded to that by saying:
WHAT THIS MEANS
The Harley Quinn/ Joker relationship is a complicated staple of the couple's comic book history. When fans discovered that Suicide Squad would feature that aspect of the Batman villains, there was a lot of worry that the film would mishandle it. While the final film ended up featuring a pretty toxic portrayal of the pair's romance, without much agency or redemption in Harley Quinn's own storyline, it's reassuring to hear that Ayer planned for a lot more depth in their relationship.
David Ayer's comments about how much effort he put into tracking the specifics of Harley's consent throughout the film reveals another large aspect of the film that the studio, per the director's words, broke. His additional comment to not "waste your time" trying to "reverse engineer" his film shows how much Ayer feels Warner Brothers disrupted his version. To him, it's impossible to salvage that aspect of Harley Quinn's story through the scenes in the final film.
The comic book one-shot "Mad Love" that Ayer posted a picture of with his tweet must have been one of the key pieces of inspiration for how Ayer wanted to portray Harley Quinn's ties to the Joker. The story is a critically acclaimed piece that adds nuance to the complicated nature of Harley Quinn and Joker's relationship. With calls for the "Ayer Cut" gaining more traction, maybe one day David Ayer will get to represent the couple with all the depth he initially envisioned.