PHOTO: Warner Bros. Pictures
Like most superhero movies, Suicide Squad came, in part, with the expectation that it was made for a male audience. While Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel will soon change things, women have yet to see themselves represented as equal protagonists in the recent wave of superhero movies. Sure, Marvel at least has Scarlett Johansson regularly owning every room she’s in as Black Widow, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice introduced Wonder Woman to its world, but overall, comic book culture continues to feel directed at fanboys instead of just fans.
Suicide Squad is one of the most recent examples of that bias, with a vibe that ultimately felt, well, extremely bro-y. And it’s now clear that such an interpretation is a lot closer to fact than fiction, with evidence that Suicide Squad seemingly digitally slimmed one of its female stars. The revelation comes courtesy of a behind-the-scenes video that breaks down the film’s visual effects. One part shows the transformation of Cara Delevingne’s The Enchantress. While it aims to showcase the before and after of Cara’s core-baring costume, it shows something else, too: The real Cara is not quite as slim as the one shown with finished effects.
Frankly, the footage is disappointing, but it’s hardly surprising. For all of Suicide Squad‘s potential inclusion of complex female characters, particularly given the role of Margot Robbie’s iconic and interesting Harley Quinn, Suicide Squad didn’t really manage to surprise audiences. As critics noted, the female characters were thinly written, and that just speaks to the gender bias of the film itself. There’s also the machine around it. Take Jared Leto’s on-set behavior, in which he sent Margot a live rat, gave Viola Davis bullets, and distributed condoms to members of the cast, all in the name of getting into character as the Joker. Not only would his behavior be construed as extremely inappropriate in any other workplace, but it’s hard to imagine his female costars getting the same pass had they acted similarly.
Overall, the digital slimming of Cara is, sadly, in keeping with director David Ayer’s choice to enable such an atmosphere on-set. We can only hope DC doesn’t pull any similar punches with its planned Harley Quinn stand-alone.