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‘Suicide Squad’ (2016) | Five years of POP Phenomenon Promise turned into a “fucking movie”

With the premiere of O Esquadrão Suicida this Thursday in theaters in Brazil, fans will finally be able to experience what has been heralded as one of the best entertainment films of the year here. With a 96% approval rating from critics, the blockbuster DC (Warner) is directed by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy), one of the biggest names in the genre today. The unschooled in the world of comic book heroes might even remember that they’ve heard this title before in the movies, and they’re not wrong. Of course, everyone knows full well what the Suicide Squad was (without the use of the “o” item).

The hype created by James Gunn’s new film had already been experienced on the same theme exactly five years ago – that is, not enough time to create a new generation. Launched in early August 2016 (4th in Brazil and 5th in the United States on a large circuit), Esquadrão Suicida was the promise of a true pop cultural phenomenon. And in part it was. But not in the expected way. It’s safe to say that no one, neither the fans nor the people involved in the project expected the backlash (the famous backlash) the production would suffer after its release – mainly due to the incisive bad reviews from the greats and fans. of the most prestigious specialty vehicles, which tore it along, for lack of a better word.

See what a disparity: While (James Gunn’s) new Suicide Squad got 96% of copy approvals, its predecessor, using the same material at hand, got a paltry 26% of approvals with the same press five years earlier. What we can see with this is not the superiority or genius of one filmmaker over another, but the learning of a large studio like Warner regarding interference in an artist’s vision for his sound. work. Five years have passed and the same Warner has given in to fan pressure for a Snydercut, the version Zack Snyder planned for his Justice League. And the company also appears to have given director James Gunn, who also signs the script, complete freedom to deliver the film he had planned.

Keep in mind that five years ago Warner was desperate to engage in a cinematic universe like what Marvel had done. Thus, all DC films at the time would be stigmatized as schizophrenic productions more concerned with forging links between their films than to create a coherent work with a beginning, a middle and an end. The pressure on filmmakers was so great that they often had their films “kidnapped” by executives, with professionals hastily called in – and not involved in the production of the film – to give their plans and re-edit those works. This is the case of Esquadrão Suicida (2016), the final version of which was edited by the company Trailer Park, Inc., in charge of editing the trailer for the film – the one with the music of the Queen who had much success and aroused the immediate interest of all in the film. product.

The world is an unfair place and, in the world of cinema, the competition is visceral. Promises and dreams can be torn apart instantly. An artist’s career, today with the advent of media within reach of every viewer, can collapse suddenly. It is devastating to think about the time and dedication that professionals put into a certain job and when the result comes, if it doesn’t please you, you have to find someone to blame. David Ayer was the director of Suicide Squad (2016) and then an established filmmaker, having enjoyed a streak both as a writer (Fast and Furious / Training Day) and as a director (Marked to Die / Hearts of Iron) .

The new Suicidal Squad (2021) has benefited in part from the moderate hype surrounding the feature film, which is a far cry from what was achieved with Ayer’s 2016 film. ‘had been done before, with the film then being the first to focus on the villains as protagonists rather than heroes. That trailer containing Queen’s song generated more views, for example, than the two of what was the biggest house movie of that year: Batman vs Superman, released in March 2016. Indeed, the one of the promises regarding Suicide Squad is who would do for DC minor characters what Guardians of the Galaxy did for Marvel two years earlier. That is, turn them into pop icons. And there is a fortuitous connection with James Gunn.

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It should also be taken into account that the Suicide Squad followed the more than lukewarm reception than the Batman vs. Superman had received it from the specialized media (with 28% approval). Even so, one glance at the trailer for Ayer’s film was enough for everyone to gain a great deal of confidence in the feature film. There isn’t a single person who hasn’t been “fooled” by the coolest sneak peek of recent years. The problem was that after seeing the movie, we realized that the trailer was more interesting and better. However, the hype had been generated much earlier, with the revelation of the cast, with the release of images of actors characterized as their characters. Esquadrão Suicida had one of the best acting groups in recent years, the kind that we don’t think we managed to bring together so many good people in one project.

Four names in particular have garnered a lot of attention in front of the cameras. Will Smith, one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, first entered the so-called “superhero movies”, accepting a role far removed from characters like Batman, Superman or any other famous character to cap. In the movie, he was the Gunslinger outlaw, villain B of the publisher’s gallery. His participation demonstrated the actor’s confidence in the project and in a dynamic whole (term used when there is not only one protagonist in the story). After Smith came Margot Robbie, a young Australian actress who was revealed as a hurricane in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) and here she rehearsed the double with Smith from Double Blow (2015). Robbie got the role of his career as Harlequin.

Viola Davis was already considered at that time as a great performer of pure representation. She had been nominated for an Oscar for Crossed Stories (2011), on television she was celebrated in the series How to Get Away With Murder (2014-2020) and the same year would win the Oscar for A Limit Between Us. Davis was the perfect choice for cold, calculating Amanda Waller, head of a secret government agency. To complete the main quartet, eccentric Jared Leto took a break from his acting career until his return for his Oscar win at the Dallas Shopping Club (2013). His performance and victory in the aforementioned film led him to the role of psychopath Joker, one of pop culture’s greatest villains. From the mentioned film to Suicide Squad, it took another three years for the actor.

Some characterizations have hit the mark, like that of Robbie and Davis, others have become questionable and controversial choices, like that of Leto. In any case, there has been an incredible commitment from all the players involved. Everyone went to roles, learning to fight, practicing, challenging each other, learning to use weapons, fighting skills. Robbie learned trapeze and circus techniques. Smith devoted himself to the Royal Marines. It took months of study in the most varied fields by all actors. Cara Delevingne, for example, hired for the role of the witch Magia without a script yet, was recommended by the director to walk naked in the moonlight and feel the mud on her bare feet – in order to prepare for the character. . Something the model and actress took to heart.

Margot Robbie learned the art of tattooing because her character has her body covered by the patterns on her skin. The cast became so united that a strong friendship emerged between them, the photos released and everything surrounding the production were keen to underline this atmosphere of camaraderie, unlike anything seen in a production of this scale. since a long time. It was the way for everyone to attest to a real involvement beyond their end-of-work salary. The connection was so strong, with the cast believing so much in the project, that everyone got tattooed (mostly by Robbie) on their body with the words “SKWAD”, a slang term for the word Squadron in English. Of course, the most controversial reports came from the Leto Method actor who, among other things, incorporated the character of Joker, just wanted to be called out by the character and sent beyond bizarre gifts (like rats). to his stage companions.

The pressure on the project was already before its launch, Margot Robbie admitting to having received death threats for having accepted the role, from hallucinated “fans” and to have therefore become aware of the dimension of the project in which she was. involved. . . . With the release of the film, the pressure was another, more real and substantial. David Ayer has at times written openly on his networks and in the media about his disappointment at having been so dedicated and his work not having pleased him. Ayer also said he would do a lot of things differently if he could get another chance – much of his film was torn apart and character build (a significant number on screen) ended up being compromised by cuts, with many recorded footage unused in the final product. Being Leto’s Joker, one of those who suffered the most in the theatrical release.

Suicide Squad (2016) cost Warner’s coffers $ 175 million and scooped almost everything in its first weekend in North America, with $ 133 million in cash. There was $ 325 million at the box office in its territory and a total of $ 746 million worldwide – which ensured the film a financial success. Add to that an Oscar win (in the makeup category), making the feature film the fourth film in the subgenre to have such an honor. It is a very curious fact that Suicide Squad is the most successful “hated” movie of recent years. The “failure”, however, did not go unnoticed by the same leaders who attempted to remove Ayer from Project Gotham Mermaids, his next stop in this universe.

Besides Ayer, one of those who felt the blow the most was star Will Smith, who tried to stay away from Gunn’s sequel (and must be sorry by now). Among the dead and injured, Margot Robbie was the biggest lucrative in history (that is, not counting death threats). Arlequina made her an international star at 25. The character (and Robbie) won a solo movie last year (Birds of Prey) and is once again a gimmick in The Suicide Squad (2021), in addition to becoming a pop phenomenon as the Suicida Squad (2016). ) planned to be. All the attention of the film went to the character and the actress, ensuring extreme popularity in the most varied media. Today, even those who have not seen the film know Arlequina.

David Ayer, five years later and the dust has settled, begins to talk about his version of the film, wanting to follow Snydercut’s path. Now that the property is in the hands of another filmmaker, the studio can consider that this “boat is already gone”. That is, unless the fans start going in that direction.

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