The first reviews of The Suicide Squad differ on some finer points but largely agree about one key element: It’s far better than the first Suicide Squad movie. (Mine certainly does.) The reason for the first film’s failure, though, is not a settled matter. It was directed by David Ayer, but the final version of the movie that played in theaters was reportedly guided by the studio executives (and possibly even cut by the people who made Suicide Squad’s trailers).

Although Ayer supported the theatrical version at the time of its release — he released a joint statement with Warner Bros. that read “This is a David Ayer film, and Warners is proud to present it.” — he’s since been insistent that it is not his director’s cut of the movie, and that someday he would like to share that cut with the world. (The “Extended Cut” of the film that’s available on home video is not Ayer’s final cut either.) With many people commenting on the first film this week because of James Gunn’s sequel, and some saying it was time to abandon hopes of seeing it, Ayer posted a lengthy statement on Twitter explaining some things about his cut of the movie.

After talking at length about his personal biography, Ayer wrote that he “put my life into Suicide Squad.” He calls his version “amazing ... [an] intricate and emotional journey with some “bad people” who are s— on and discarded (a theme that resonates in my soul.” And he makes it clear that the studio cut is “not my movie.”

He also gave a few more details about what’s in his film:

My cut is not the 10 week director’s cut — it’s a fully mature edit by Lee Smith standing on the incredible work by John Gilroy. It’s all Steven Price’s brilliant score, with not a single radio song in the whole thing. It has traditional character arcs, amazing performances, a solid 3rd act resolution.

He notes that only “a handful of people” have actually seen his cut, and that most people claiming to have seen it are not telling the truth. Here’s his full letter:

Ayer ends his note by saying he’s “proud” of James Gunn and “excited for the success that’s coming” to him and Warner Bros. It’s not about The Suicide Squad; it’s about his cut of Suicide Squad. And Ayer clearly still wants people to get to see it. Meanwhile, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad opens in theaters and premieres on HBO Max on August 5.

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