Almost immediately after seeing Suicide Squad back in early August the cry came out for an extended cut, a cry that intensified even further after more and more reports surfaced of how much editing had been done to it, specifically with Jared Leto's Joker scenes.
Two months and $739 million later, those cries have now clearly been heard by Warner Bros. with today's announcement:
The reaction to this on social media has been......50-50. To be fair, that's how it has been since the idea of an extended cut first came up. After what happened with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the drastic difference between the Theatrical Cut and the Ultimate Edition released months later for home viewing, fans are concerned that this is going to become a trend for the DC Extended Universe where they release a shorter "incomplete" version of the movie in theaters for us to buy tickets for, only to get us on the double dip later with a longer, better version of the same movie.
Well to keep being fair, that's nothing new. At all. Remember these?
And who can forget this one?
Extended versions of popular movies, especially science fiction and fantasy are nothing new to us. We know this, though. Some of us are just edgy after the whole BvS situation because of how unique that whole scenario was.
I've seen plenty of extended versions and deleted scenes from movies over the years and the one thing that they all had in common was that even if the extra scenes were cool, you could see why they were cut out. Either they weren't vital to the story or they were too long or they were boring or whatever. You understood why it was removed. All movies have major edits and cut downs to get to the finished product. It's part of the movie making process. There's even ratios that filmmakers and crews use as far as how much more to shoot than the actual length they are shooting for. The odds of you watching a movie that is shot perfectly with nothing taken out of it or added back later at some point is almost impossible.
BvS was the very first time that I have EVER watched an extended version and every time something new came I would loudly shout to no one "Why the hell did you cut THAT out?" Seriously, not a single one of those extra 30 minutes should have been removed. Do you know how rare that is to find with the extended cut of a movie? Try to take your fan hat off for a franchise and ask yourself if you've ever seen it with a movie other than BvS. Honestly, do you really think that the extended versions of Lord of the Rings should have been released in theaters? Would a general audience member have sat in that theater for four hours enjoying all of it? Very, very doubtful.
Which brings us back to Suicide Squad. There's only one reason really that fans have been clamoring for an extended edition of this movie: More of Jared Leto's Joker. After discovering that his presence in the movie may have amounted to almost a tenth of the two hours and ten minutes runtime, fans were everything from disappointed to irate about it. The Joker is one of the most, if not the most iconic villain in the history of geek and pop culture so even if he is featured as a minor subplot villain in a movie not even remotely focused on him, people are still going to demand as much of him on screen as possible.
And that is why this extended cut of Suicide Squad will be almost NOTHING like BvS. The 30 minutes that were added to that movie were 30 minutes of important character building and plot development that someone at Warner Bros. should have lost their job for cutting out of the movie. The 13 minutes that are going to be added to Suicide Squad is just going to be more Joker and Harley Quinn, changing nothing of the plot structure or character development of the movie as a whole.
So for people that are concerned about this becoming a trend with the DCEU, where they give us a "substandard" version of the movie in theaters to spend money on and then months later drop the REAL version on us in an extended cut, that's not what this is at all. In fact, that's never been what it was in the first place. We didn't get the Ultimate Edition of BvS because people were clamoring for things to be fixed. We got it because WB saw an opportunity to make more money in home media sales on a film that garnered them $873.2 million at the box office and that's exactly what they did. The same thing applies here with Suicide Squad. The movie is still in theaters at the time of this posting and is sitting just shy of three-quarters of a billion dollars worldwide and you've got a ton of fans demanding more Joker and an extended cut. The studio couldn't chase those dollar signs fast enough.
I don't blame them for it at all because they've been doing it for years and this is nothing new. Studios including WB and DC Films will continue to do this so long as they can make money off of it, but make no mistake it has NOTHING to do with how BvS was handled. That was a totally UNIQUE scenario that happened to play out the way it did. If Wonder Woman comes out next year and does well, as we can expect it to for several reasons and then WB once again releases an extended cut of the film later, that doesn't mean that WB is making this a trend and the version you saw in the theaters is likely a waste. It means that WB saw more dollar signs and wanted to cash in on it, that's all.
Personally, I didn't need an extended cut of Suicide Squad because it never bothered me how much the Joker was in the movie, even knowing how much they shot of him for it. It was never going to be Jared Leto's movie and the Joker is only there because he's part of Harley's backstory. That's all we are going to get with this extended cut. What I want to see, and what I think many others want to see is a movie where Jared Leto's Joker is a primary villain, integral to the plot and certain to chew up more screen time. That, should it ever happen, will be nothing short of glorious.
That being said, I'll take the extra 13 minutes on December 13th in Blu-ray form if they're going to give it to me. What am I going to do, say no? That would be silly. Spread the word. #SuicideSquad