‘Suicide Squad’: David Ayer Details Alternate Cuts, Explains Joker’s “Damaged” Tattoo

     August 10, 2016


Suicide Squad will likely enjoy another strong box office performance in its upcoming second weekend in theaters, but there are still quite a few unanswered questions about the Warner Bros./DC Comics film floating around out there. Director David Ayer is up to the challenge. Some of his latest answers reveal some interesting trivia behind the scenes of the anti-hero movie while others aim to clarify some of the film’s plot points, character decisions, and place within the larger cinematic universe.

In a chat with Empire, Ayer cleared up some questions about his movie. He reveals his take on the Joker’s backstory and his interaction with Batman, talks about the decision to go for a PG-13 rating, the alternate cuts that were presented to test audiences, and a lot more. We’ve compiled some of the more interesting bits below; spoilers follow.


Image via Warner Bros.

Here’s what Ayer had to say about the Joker, his tattoo, and major role in the movie despite relatively minor screentime:

“This is sort of my personal thing and maybe less about a larger connection. But Joker killed Robin and Batman basically smashes his teeth out and locks him up in Arkham Asylum. It’s in the asylum where Joker would have done the ‘damaged’ tattoo as a message to Batman saying, ‘You’ve damaged me. I was so beautiful before and now you’ve destroyed my face.’ That’s where the grill comes from.”


“I think there was an expectation of what the film should have been. People really wanted more Joker and wanted him to be an A-plot component. And it’s funny how the critics call it a cameo but he has some fantastic sequences that are really important for the film. He really influences the journey quite a bit.”


Image via Warner Bros.

For fans who are hoping for an R-rated cut or an alternate cut that shows the events of Suicide Squad from a different angle, I’m sorry to disappoint you:

“You could easily make this R-rated by having two F-bombs or someone smoke a cigarette. But that’s not what I think people mean when they ask for an R-rated version, so it was always meant to be a PG-13. It’s a decision you make before you turn the cameras on.”


“There’s a linear version we did where it opens up with June in the cave and tells the story in sequence with the arrests and Batman, and then we go to Belle Reve. Honestly, there may be six or seven different versions of the film. In that version, [test] audiences were left with a lot of questions and a little disoriented as to who to watch and why. So we came up with what we call the ‘dossier’ version which has Amanda presenting the backstories and origins of the various members.”

For much more from Ayer, including the decision to view Batman through the eyes of the villains, the choice of having The Flash capture Boomerang, and the deaths of some of the Skwad members.

And while critics and fans remain divided over their reactions to Suicide Squad, there’s a more specific gripe coming from the high-profile musicians of “Die Antwoord” (via Pitchfork):

yes David Ayer u jockin our style. callin ninja up before your movie came our pretendin 2b down, so it looks OK when u bite our black & white graf style & our opening sequence to umshiniwam & an all da lil tiny details u nibbeld dat other people wont see but we notice. Cara & Jared told us how much u were talkin abt us on set but u never asked our permision to rip us off. An when ninja texted u sayin wassup wif dat u said nothin like a scared lil bitch. U were jus flauntin our names pretendin to b down. u aint down an u never will b. but before we knew da extent of ur two face nature – u invited us to ur movie premiere(which i didnt wanna go to) but ninja went , tinkin ur solid guy an mayb there was jus a lil “misunderstandin”. Den poor ninja had to sit thru dat hole bullshit movie. An u even got da nerve to say wassup to him smilin – an ninja has to b nice cus he is there wif his kid. But we all tink u wack. U shud start a crew called:,”im a fake fuck” ask kanye if he wants to join u. Cum show ur pretty face at my studios. U know Muggs & u know where da Soul Assasin Studios at. we watin for u. @djmuggs_the_black_goat_ @zef_alien @boojie_baby_ @ragingzefboner @_dark_force_ @dejanvisser @djhitekisgod @jipsi518

A video posted by ¥O-LANDI VI$$ER (@prawn_star) on

Do you think “Die Antwoord” has a point, or are they just looking for some publicity? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

For more of our coverage on Suicide Squad, be sure to check out some of our recent write-ups below:


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