Despite the darkness of its trailers, Suicide Squad will stick to a PG-13 rating according to producer Charles Roven - even if it skirts the line.
“The intention of the film is definitely to be PG-13," Roven told Collider. "We really want to make these films tonally consistent so that, as I said because this is a shared universe, at least our current thinking—and again, we’re not dealing in absolutes because while this is business it’s also a creative endeavor, so you want to leave yourself open to changing your mind, doing something different, being inspired, that’s the whole process of filmmaking is you have to allow for inspiration as well as having a road map for what you’re gonna do. So our plan right now is to make all these films PG-13. In some cases, you know, right there on the edge of PG-13, but still PG-13.”
Most comic book movies are rated PG-13, with next year's Deadpool being a notable exception, so Suicide Squad sticking in that range comes as no surprise. But just because it's not going for a hard "R", that doesn't mean there won't be some darkness in the story. Jared Leto's Joker has stood out as particularly disturbing - something Roven says is thanks to Leto's commitment to method acting.
“Look, you know, it was different, it was fun," said Roven of Leto's deep dive into the Clown Prince of Crime. "The group first wasn’t sure because the AD’s had to call him ‘Mr. J’ to get him to come to the set [laughs]. And he did in many ways isolate himself from the rest of the group, but that’s really what his character was, the purpose of his character in many ways, other than when he was with Harley or trying to get Harley. It was very entertaining, it was fuel for a lot of good sport and a lot of laughs, and his isolation bonded the squad, and we wanted the squad bonded.”
And according to Roven, the Squad did bond. Earlier this year, photos surfaced from the set of Suicide Squad with the cast members tattooing each other. And the camaraderie between castmembers didn't stop there.
“I have to say, it was one of the most fun sets ever. I’ve been doing this for a while, and the camaraderie that was built on that set—everybody couldn’t wait for the next day to come back to work.”
Much of that bonding was thanks to writer/director David Ayer, who fought to make Suicide Squad even though it was not in the studio's initial plans.
“He had a close relationship with [Warner Bros. executive] Greg Silverman and Greg said, ‘He’s got an idea on Suicide Squad, he wants to come in and pitch it'...It was right exactly in the pocket that we were looking for. Honestly that movie was essentially greenlit in the pitch meeting," explained Roven, who added that Ayer was instrumental in assembling the cast.
“Surprisingly, one of the things that is a natural benefit of having a writer-director is that when you meet with him, if he’s trying to meet with an actor and explain to them what the role’s gonna be, there’s a lot of confidence that the actor has that the man who’s telling him what’s it’s gonna be is gonna deliver because he’s both the writer and the director...So he was able to convince all of the actors that we went out to that he was gonna be able to make these characters so compelling that they would wanna be played more than once by these actors.”
Roven also admitted that there likely won't be another official trailer for the film until next year.
Suicide Squad hits theaters August 5, 2016.