The following post contains SPOILERS for The Suicide Squad.

While The Suicide Squad does more than live up to its title, with the gruesome deaths of many of its anti-heroes and villains, it ends on something of a hopeful note. Several members of the team, including Idris Elba’s Bloodsport and Daniela Melchior’s Ratcatcher 2, survived and negotiated their release from prison from Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller. The final shot is of the survivors escaping from the ruins of Corto Maltese on a helicopter, with Bloodsport cuddling with one of Ratcatcher’s rats — who he’d previously been terrified of because of a childhood trauma.

That’s the ending we got. But writer/director James Gunn originally conceived a much different, much darker conclusion that would have picked up after the Squad returned from their mission to Corto Maltese, and featured the deaths of several key characters. Gunn described what was supposed to happen to CinemaBlend:

At the very end of the movie, Ratcatcher 2 had taken the information about from Jotunheim. She had smuggled in and gotten away with all of that information from Jotunheim, and the rest of the group didn't know about it. And (Amanda) Waller blew up her head, after they went back to the prison! At which point, Harley tries to talk Bloodsport -- Bloodsport’s freaking out, because he's connected to this person, like a daughter. And he's freaking out, and Harley is actually being sort of kind, in a weird way, trying to talk Bloodsport into just letting it go. But Bloodsport ends up shooting Waller in the heart with a combustible bullet and threatening to blow her up. It was sort of complicated, but it was something like that.

This “combustible bullet” that Gunn is describing was something in Peacemaker’s arsenal from earlier in the film. The idea would have been that with this bullet inside Waller’s body, Bloodsport would have had negotiating leverage. But that would have come after Ratcatcher 2’s death, which definitely would have made for a much bleaker finale.

Gunn said he ultimately decided that ending was just “too dark” and eventually arrived at Bloodsport and the rat because it reinforced that the film was “much more about the characters’ different journeys, emotionally.” I think that’s right. It’s nice to have a glimmer of hope amidst all the bloodshed. It’s not like The Suicide Squad didn’t earn that R rating with many violent deaths anyway, including of several DC characters, including heroes who’d debuted in the first Suicide Squad movie.

The Suicide Squad comes out on 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD on October 28.

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