Joel Kinnaman admits first Suicide Squad wasn't what 'we all hoped' but praises James Gunn's sequel
Joel Kinnaman is reflecting on what went wrong with the critically panned 2016 film Suicide Squad.
"It had great characters.... 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, you know? It didn't feel like the movie that we hoped we were going to make," Kinnaman told Variety's Just for Variety podcast, after discussing his recent screening of the upcoming August 2021 release, The Suicide Squad.
"And this is something very different," Kinnaman added of his upcoming project, directed by James Gunn.
David Ayer, who directed the 2016 edition, admitted that his version "had its flaws" while responding to a fan on Twitter in 2017. "Nothing hurts more than to pick up a newspaper and see a couple years of your blood, sweat, and tears ripped to shreds. The hate game is strong out there," the director wrote at the time.
With some fans on social media asking for the #AyersCut following the success of the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League on HBO Max, Ayer still holds out hope for fans to see his original vision for the film which he recently told EW was "a really heartfelt drama."
"And it got ripped to pieces and they tried to turn it into Deadpool, which it just wasn't supposed to be," he said.
As for Gunn's The Suicide Squad, which reunites Kinnaman with many of his costars from the first film, as well as some newcomers to the franchise, it has the Guardians of the Galaxy director's stamp all over it.
"It's insane," Kinnaman told Variety. "It's by far James Gunn's best movie."
Luckily the actor didn't stop his description there.
"It just takes it to another level," the actor continued. "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.… And while we were shooting it, it was so clear what we were doing. Of course, we were adding a bunch of layers and stuff while we were shooting it. But it's so entertaining. Of course, [I'm] hopelessly biased, but I found it to be one of the most entertaining films I've ever seen."
Kinnaman, who plays Rick Flag in the project, said the film, due Aug. 6, has "such comedic timing," is "funny like, along the way," and had "moments of emotional depth, and visual, and emotional poetry."
While addressing how the films are different, Kinnaman said The Suicide Squad isn't a "standalone thing" since it does feature characters from Suicide Squad.
"It's just a different universe. It's a James Gunn universe," he said. "It's a very hilarious and depraved place."