While it was always going to be the case that certain members of the Suicide Squad would get more screen time than others, it’s almost laughable how little time is spent on one member of Task Force X in particular.
Adam Beach’s Slipknot, a.k.a. the man who can climb anything, certainly gets the short shrift when it comes to things like character development, as his brief time in the film is relegated primarily to being a plot device. His death at the beginning of the squad’s mission can be seen from a mile away, but it still feels like he probably should have gotten some sort of backstory before he was promptly killed off.
As it turns out, a scene explaining Slipknot’s background was actually shot, but as director David Ayer revealed recently on Empire’s Film Podcast, there was a reason for it being left on the cutting room floor:
“Yeah we shot one, but after a point it became overloaded, ya know, so you have to cull and pick and choose your battles, and Slipknot gets his head blown off pretty quick, so ya know, I made a commitment early on not to try and create some kind of misdirect because when you have that many characters every frame of real estate is priceless, and I didn’t want to invest in that real estate to create some misdirect because after opening night everyone knows he dies anyway.”
While Ayer’s explanation for not wanting to overload the film with too many backstories is understandable (although I’d argue that we probably could have done without three separate Deadshot introductions), his argument that everyone would know he dies after opening night anyway feels like a pretty flimsy excuse. Sure, Slipknot is framed from the get-go as a disposable character, but that’s a deliberate filmmaking decision. It arguably would have been more satisfying if Slipknot had been presented just like every other Suicide Squad member, with backstory and everything, and then killed off. At least it would have come as a bit more of a surprise.
Then again, if the rumors that part of the plan for Slipknot’s backstory involved being a serial rapist are true, maybe we’re all better off knowing as little about him as possible.