Everett Collection; Clay Enos/Warner Bros.
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December 23, 2017 at 11:23 AM EST

The negative response to Suicide Squad was a major blow to David Ayer. The filmmaker, also known for his work on Fury and End of Watch, has discussed the critical reception on more than one occasion. Now in a new interview with Entertainment Tonight, he reflected on how the aftermath of his DC super-villain film affected his approach in directing Netflix’s Bright.

“It was sh–. Yeah, it was sh– reviews. I got my throat cut,” Ayer said of Suicide Squad. Critics called the work “unexciting,” “predictable,” “mind-boggling stupid,” and a film “beholden to the corporate vision of other recent DC adaptations.”

“It was a super polarizing movie. Incredibly polarizing,” Ayer added.

The director went on to explain how the response made him “gun shy” when going to work on Bright.

“It’s like going to the boxing ring and getting knocked out is how it felt. And I had to go into the ring again. And directing is a confidence game, because you’re selling everyone on something that only exists in your head,” he said. “The actors have to feel that confidence to trust that you know what you’re doing, and so does your crew. As a director, you set the tone. Really, it’s coming off that movie, I understood the pitfalls, I understood the dangers, I knew where the alligators hide, you know? And so I made damn sure I didn’t repeat any mistakes.”

It seems, however, history is repeating itself. Bright, starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton, was described as a “plenty embarrassing” “genre disaster” by critics as the film debuted on Netflix this week.

To one critic who called the film “the single worst movie of 2017,” Ayer tweeted, “This is going on my fridge. Highest compliment is a strong reaction either way. This is a f–king epic review. It’s a big fun movie. You can sure string words together Mr. [Ehrlich]. I’d love to read any script you’ve written.”

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