Joel Kinnanman Admits OG Suicide Squad 'Didn't End Up Being What We All Hoped It Was'

The actor blames “conflicting visions” for the final result and praises James Gunn’s sequel.

With a new “Suicide Squad” on the way from director James Gunn, one of the stars of the original movie is speaking out about how the first one was received by critics when it was released.

Joel Kinnaman starred as Rick Flag in David Ayer’s 2016 film and is reprising the role in the 2021 release. During an interview with Variety, Kinnaman opened up about Ayer’s version after the publication mentioned the negative reviews.

“I thought the first 40 minutes of the film was f—ing great, and then there were conflicting visions and it just didn’t end up being what we all hoped it was,” he admitted. “It didn’t feel like the movie that we hoped we were going to make.”

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The 2016 movie was reportedly the result of studio interference, as Warner Bros. was dismayed by the reaction to the bleak “Batman v. Superman.” The studio then called for reshoots for “Suicide Squad” and even brought in a trailer company to edit the movie to make it appear more fun.

“It’s frustrating because I made a really heartfelt drama and it got ripped to pieces and they tried to turn it intoDeadpool,’ which it just wasn’t supposed to be,” said Ayer, who has been pushing for the release of an Ayer Cut, like WB did with Zack Snyder and “Justice League.”

“I made an amazing movie. It’s an amazing movie, it just scared the s— out of the executives,” the director recently told EW.

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Kinnaman, meanwhile, said the upcoming sequel is “something very different” from what came before. “It’s just a different universe. It’s a James Gunn universe. It’s a very hilarious and depraved place.”

He added that he saw it a few days ago and the movie is “insane … it’s by far James Gunn’s best movie.”

“It just takes it to another level. It’s an insane film. At the same time, it was very much the movie that I thought it was going to be because the vision was so clear from the beginning,” Kinnaman continued. “While we were shooting it, it was so clear what we were doing.”

“It’s so entertaining. I’m of course hopelessly biased, but I found it to be one of the most entertaining films I’ve ever seen. From A to Z, it’s so well paced, it has such a drive and such comedic timing. It’s funny along the way the whole time, effortlessly,” he added. “But then I think what really surprised me was I was struck by was how well it flowed, but also how he was able to create these little bubbles, these little moments of emotional depth and visual and emotional poetry. And I felt like it really transcended the genre, and it became something bigger.”

Praising the movies changing tone, gore, shocking moments and comedic beats, he also called the movie “so irreverent.”

“At the end of the movie, it’s completely normal seeing this giant shark just standing gnawing on a person’s head, and some of the people just having a conversation next to it,” he added. “When you’re one hour and 50 minutes into ‘Suicide Squad,’ that’s going to feel completely normal.”

“The Suicide Squad” hits theaters and HBO Max on August 6, 2021.

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