Suicide Squad director David Ayer has once again responded to the film’s flurry of bad reviews, this time in a note posted to Twitter Saturday.

“I know it’s a controversial film, I really tried to make something different, with a look and feel of its own,” Ayer wrote to user @PensFanboy, who praised Suicide Squad. “I took inspiration from the insanity of the original comics. Making a movie is a journey, not a straight line. I learned so much.”

Acknowledging that Suicide Squad “has its flaws,” he explained, “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.”

“Wish I had a time machine. I’d make Joker the main villain and engineer a more grounded story. I have to take the good and bad and learn from it,” he continued. “I love making movies and I love DC [Comics]. I’m a high school dropout and used to paint houses for a living. I’m lucky to have the job I have. I have to give the characters the stories and plots they deserve. Real talk.”

“And no,” he concluded, “there isn’t a secret edit of the film with a bunch of Joker scenes hidden in a salt mine somewhere.”

Suicide Squad tells the story of Task Force X, a strike team of villains forced to execute covert missions for the government in exchange for reduced prison sentences. Despite harsh reviews from critics, the film grossed $745.6 million worldwide, more than Man of Steel‘s $668 million take.

“Next time” for Ayer will be Suicide Squad spinoff Gotham City Sirens, a film about the top female villains of the DC Comics world — including Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn.

Originally posted at –

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