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Suicide Squad Fans Now Demanding To See 'The Ayer Cut'

Warner Bros. opened up a can of worms when they acquiesced to fan demands for the Snyder Cut of Justice League. Just one day after the announcement that the long-discoursed reworking would find a home on HBO Max, a certain coalition of DCEU enthusiasts are already showing that they will not be content with their pound of flesh. A resurgent campaign for an "Ayer Cut" of 2016's tepidly-received Suicide Squad started trending on Twitter, indicating that we may now officially be living in a world where the viewing public expects to share the right of final cut.

According to Uproxx, the hashtag "ReleaseTheAyerCut" started trending not long after Warner announced they would be commissioning the near-mythic Snyder Cut of Justice League to prop up their new streaming service. Suicide Squad director David Ayer has long been vocal about the differences between his intended vision and what was actually released to theaters. Among other key differences, Ayer bemoaned the fact that so much of Leto's apparently brilliant performance as the Joker was left on the cutting room floor. In the version that actually made it into theaters, Leto's Joker is an ancillary character at best, and the fact that the Requiem for a Dream actor's technicolor version of the iconic villain didn't resonate with fans has been a major point of contention.

What would an Ayer Cut of Suicide Squad even look like?

Justice League is, in many ways, a unique case. Original director Zack Snyder had to leave the project mid-production to tend to a family tragedy. Joss Whedon stepped in to pick up the baton, and the rest is history. Ayer, on the other hand, actually got to see his project through. His are the only directorial fingerprints on the film, and though the final cut may not have met his expectations, that's often the way the cookie crumbles in Hollywood. Like it or not, directors are employees when it comes to blockbuster tentpoles, and the studios who take on all the financial risk generally get to decide what version of a film ultimately sees the light of day. Sometimes, this results in substandard products like Suicide Squad. Other times, savvy creative executives at studios actually enhance their projects by curbing the creative excesses of overzealous talent. The four-and-a-half-hour Extended Edition of Return of the King might be satisfying to Tolkien enthusiasts, but it's the theatrical cut that won the Oscar for Best Picture.

Industry watchers are likely going to be keeping a very close eye on this one. Warner has already waved the white flag once on Justice League. Once can be explained away as an exception, but twice is a pattern. If the studio gives in to fan demands and commissions a new cut of Suicide Squad for HBO Max, there may be no end to the leverage angry Twitter mobs feel they can exercise.

Meanwhile, James Gunn's sequel/follow-up/soft-reboot The Suicide Squad is already in post-production, with Ayer not onboard in any capacity — yet another reason that an Ayer Cut of the first film feels unlikely.