To bring one of DC Comics’ most complex franchises “Suicide Squad” to the screen, Warner Brothers needed a director who was as intense as the diabolical characters that make up the group.
The choice was David Ayer, a writer-director known for his unsympathetic look at the harsh realities in the world like police patrolling South Central LA in “End of Watch” and a doomed World War II tank platoon in “Fury.“
Here’s how this talent went from humble beginnings to directing one of the most anticipated movies of 2016.
Ayer was born in Champaign, Illinois, in January 1968, but it would be his time living with his cousin as a teenager in South Central Los Angeles that would come to shape the intense material he would be known to write in Hollywood.
His first credited screenplay was 2000's 'U-571,' a war drama set inside a submarine starring Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, and Harvey Keitel. Ayer used his experience as a submariner for the Navy to bring an authentic feel to the story.
He followed that with a screenwriting credit on 'The Fast and the Furious.' The film that would launch the franchise starring Vin Diesel and Paul Walker.
But Ayer found more critical acclaim for his next script, 'Training Day.' Starring Denzel Washington in his first bad guy role as a corrupt LA cop, the performance would garner him a Best Actor Oscar.
Transitioning to directing, Ayer would find his footing with the critically-acclaimed 2012 cop drama, 'End of Watch,' starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña.
Told in a shaky first-person account, Ayer insisted on authenticity from his actors. He had the cast go on a ride-along with the LAPD, who brought them to the aftermath of a gang-related shooting.
That authenticity would continue with his 2014 film 'Fury,' starring Brad Pitt as the leader of a tank platoon fighting behind enemy lines during World War II.
Ayer researched extensively and had his actors go through boot camp and boxing sessions with one another.
Warner Bros. thought his style was right to bring the dark characters of 'Suicide Squad' to the screen.
Ayer presented a teaser of 'Suicide Squad' (opening August 2016) at Comic-Con earlier this month. Since the footage went online it's been viewed over 37.8 million times (more than the popular 'Batman v Superman' Comic-Con trailer).
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