James Gunn clearly has a lot more respect for David Ayer than Warner Bros. do, looking at how the filmmaker made a point of ensuring his predecessor was thanked in the credits of The Suicide Squad, while producer Peter Safran made a point of outlining in no uncertain terms that Ayer’s 2016 original wouldn’t be referenced, alluded to or acknowledged at all.
The filmmaker’s battles with the studio have long since become the stuff of legend, dating right back to the moment he was hired to write and direct Suicide Squad. He was only given six weeks to hammer the screenplay into shape before cameras started rolling, and when the post-production process began he was essentially ousted as two competing edits were commissioned in an effort to decide which one was deemed worthy of a theatrical release.
Throw in his highly publicized revelations about a combination of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice‘s under-performance and Deadpool‘s success refitting his dark and dingy tale of antiheroes into a much more comedic superhero movie, and you can understand why Ayer was happy to go on record saying he had his throat cut by Warner Bros.
It’s gotten to the stage where the Fury and Bright director took to social media and offered one last statement before saying he’ll never talk about Suicide Squad again, months after WarnerMedia’s Ann Sarnoff said the Ayer Cut was never going to happen.
Gunn may have only watched the opener for the first time after being offered the chance to tackle The Suicide Squad, but he’s nonetheless remained highly diplomatic with his praise for what Ayer brought to the table, and a thank you in the credits caps off that mutual respect nicely.