So, articles of this sort are arriving on the scene in the wake of the Batman vs Superman debacle (Read my review of that HERE):
“Suicide Squad reshoots bode well for the DC movieverse” by Devin Faraci over at BirthMoviesDeath.com.
Look, I don’t want to quibble with Devin over his sources about the reshoots. Clearly, they’re happening. Clearly, they’re extensive. I won’t even argue that their purpose is to “lighten up” the movie.
I will accept all of that at face value.
What I will talk about (hopefully quickly), though, is whether or not I think this is a good thing or a bad thing, and why.
First off, we all know that re-shoots happen. They happen for a lot of reasons: a scene didn’t work. Some last minute world-event that makes the studio decide to change something about the movie… whatever.
They happen. They will always happen.
Everybody clear? Good.
[Editor’s note: I was, and still kind of am, looking forward to seeing this film for a couple reasons: to see if DC could make a “fun” comic book movie; to see if Will Smith can sublimate his Will Smith-ness into this ensemble instead of needing to be front and center; and how fans will accept the Jared Leto version of the Joker, along with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, since the movie really hinges on how well they pull those roles off. Every other character, including Smith’s Deadshot, is secondary to that.]
Suicide Squad is being “extensively” reshot to add more humor and lighten the tone of the movie.
Look, I’m no Hollywood studio insider, I’m just a guy who likes to watch movies. In my extensive career of doing that, here’s one thing that I’ve learned:
If you are reshooting enough of a movie to completely change its tone, you might have screwed up royally in the first place. Seriously. That would be like saying, after filming was complete on, say, Fast and Furious 12, deciding that what the film really needs is more zombies.
Um, guys, maybe you should have thought about this before you, I don’t know: approved the project, finalized the script, spent tens (or hundreds) of millions of dollars on it…
You get the idea.
What can I divine from this? The original version of Suicide Squad was going to be more Batman vs Superman than Deadpool, or even the original Iron Man. Tens of millions of dollars on reshoots for a superhero movie is clearly an indication that they are concerned with losing much more than that if they release the film as-is. There is no other way to read it. Not any believable way, at any rate.
What I can divine from all of that is the studio has effectively admitted that the dark and brooding Zach Snyderverse is a bust. Box office be damned, DC has admitted that they are going in totally the wrong direction, or have, at least, put the rudder of their cinematic ship in the hands of people (or a person) not equipped to steer the thing properly.
And that’s sad. The DC universe has so much to offer, as evidenced by it success on television. Now if they could only get their movie-house in order, Marvel might take a glance back over their shoulder.
In the end, I have to disagree with Devin’s analysis that these reshoots are a good thing. Oh, they may make this particular movie better, but they are also indicative of the systemic issues DC is having.