[after Babydoll has danced for the first time] All that gyrating and moaning... a dance should be more about titillation. Mine's personal, it says who I am. What the heck does yours say?
Everyone has an Angel. A Guardian who watches over us. We can't know what form they'll take, one day old man, next day little girl, but don't let appearances fool you. They can be as fierce as any dragon. Yet they're not here to fight our battles, but to whisper from our hearts. Reminding that it's us. Its every one of us who holds power over the world we create.
We can deny angels exist; convince ourselves they can't be real. But they show up anyway, at strange places and at strange times. They can speak through any character we can imagine. They'll shout through demons if they have to, daring us, challenging us to fight!
And finally this question, the mystery of who's story it will be. Of who draws the curtain. Who is it that chooses our steps in the dance? Who drives us mad? Lashes us with whips and crowns us with victory when we survive the impossible? Who is it, that does all of these things?
Who honors those we love with the very life we live? Who sends monsters to kill us and at the same time sings that we'll never die? Who teaches us what's real and how to laugh at lies? Who decides why we live and what we'll die to defend? Who chains us and who holds the key to set us free? It's you. You have all the weapons you need. Now fight!
This is a joke, right? I get the sexy school girl and nurse thing, but what’s this? A lobotomized vegetable? How about something more commercial?
It's like we talked about. You control this world. Let the pain go, let the hurt go, let the guilt go. What you are imagining right now, that world you control. That place can be as real as any pain.
If you do not dance you have no purpose. And we don't keep things here that have no purpose. You see, your fight for survival starts right now. You don't want to be judged? You won't be. You don't think you're strong enough? You are. You're afraid. Don't be. You have all the weapons you need. Now fight.
Sweet Pea: This can't be. We did everything right.
Baby Doll: A map, a fire, a knife, a key, one thing more, one thing more. It's me.
Sweet Pea: What?
Baby Doll: [a breathy 'Oh'] Oh it's me,of course it's me. It's the only way this ever coulda been prevented.
Sweet Pea: What do you mean?
Baby Doll: I'm saying you go home, go to your family. You tell your mom what Rocket said, make her happy. Go out and live a normal life. Love, be free, you have to live for all of us now.
Sweet Pea: Baby, no, you can't...
Baby Doll: Yes Sweet Pea, you're the strongest. You're the only one of us who ever had a chance out there. You're going home and leaving, that's how we win. It's okay, it's better this way. Now listen, I'm gonna walk out there and when they come after me, you go, okay?
Sweet Pea: There's gotta be another way.
Baby Doll: No, this is right. This was never my story, it's yours. Now don't screw it up okay?
Rocket: Have you ever wanted to just take something back? You know, something you said, something you did?
Baby Doll: All the time.
Baby Doll: I'm gonna escape from here.
Sweet Pea: There are armed guards everywhere! And if Blue finds out, we're dead!
Interviewer: Would you say the film is a critique on sexist geek culture?
Zack Snyder: It is, absolutely. I find it interesting, in a lot of ways, that this movie – of all the movies I’ve made – has been universally hated by fanboys, which I find really interesting. It’s like a fanboy indictment, in some ways. They can’t have fun with the geek culture sexual hang ups.
Interviewer: I thought it was basically you commenting on those attendants at Comic-Con who shout, “You’re hot!” at beautiful cast members.
Zack Snyder: Yeah! 100%. They don’t know how to be around it. It’s funny because someone asked me about why I dressed the girls like that and I said, “Do you not get the metaphor there? The girls are in a brothel performing for men in the dark. In the fantasy sequences, the men in the dark are us. The men in the dark are basically me: dorky sci-fi kids.”
Interviewer: Is it wrong to enjoy seeing Babydoll in that school girl outfit, though?
Snyder': You can say what you want about the movie, but I did not shoot the girls in an exploitative way. They might be dressed sexually, but I didn’t shoot the movie to exploit their sexuality. There’s no close-ups of cleavage, or stuff like that. I really wanted it to be up to the viewer to feel those feelings or not. Does that make sense?
Interviewer: Yeah, it’s like a guilty-pleasure.
Zack Snyder: 100%. As long as you’re self-aware about it, then you’re okay.
Interviewer: Did you think a lot in the writing process, “Would a woman say this?”
Zack Snyder: You think that, of course you do. It’s hard to write. Know at the beginning of the movie where Sweet Pea is acting tough? That’s tough to write, because I know where she’s going. It’s like when she says “watch yourself!” in the dance hall and they have that whole banter. That’s difficult because it’s on a graphic, in a lot of ways, but you gotta find a way to make it a lot of fun.
Interviewer: Most female action heroines are generally interchangeable with men. Can you talk about the process of finding that specific female voice?
Zack Snyder: As a man, you can only do what you can do as far as understanding the female psyche. I just tried to write as honestly as I could, so then the female actors would fill in the emotional blanks I left for them. I feel like the girls were really up to that and into that. I thought it was an interesting approach. A good example is when we did the scene where the girls were going to break out and they’re all saying “they’re in!” and they’re crying at the end of the scene. That’s not in the script, and that was just them. If I had written that, I probably would have thought it was cheesy and no one would cry at the end of the sequence.
Interviewer: I’m curious, if you don’t mind talking about it, what was the originally shot and intended ending?
Zack Snyder: The very first ending I wrote the order was: Babydoll was being lobotomized, she got chained in the basement, Sweet Pea escapes – well, let me back up. There’s a scene you’ll see on the Director’s Cut with Jon Hamm. When Jon Hamm arrives as the High Roller – and we took this scene out because of the MPAA – when that guy punches Babydoll in the face, she wakes up in the High Roller’s suite. He basically makes a deal with her that if she gives herself to him, and willingly and not against her will, then he’ll give her freedom and get [her] out of that place. He’ll make it so that Blue will never touch her and she’ll be free. She’s seduced by that concept, and right when they go to kiss each other, that’s her being lobotomized. When they kiss, it’s her being lobotomized.
The very end of the movie was: you see Sweet Pea steal a dress from a clothesline, then after she’s lobotomized and Blue says, “Do you remember me? Take her downstairs,” and then you see Sweet Pea getting on the bus, then after her getting on the bus, it cuts back to Babydoll in the basement and that whole scene happens of the cops taking him away. When he shines the flashlight on her, she gets up, and the camera dollies in on her and then goes around her head, and you see that she’s on a stage in the theater and she signs “O-o-h Child” at the very end. After that, all the dead girls come out and they sing together, then the curtain closes. That’s the end.
Interviewer: Why was that cut?
Zack Snyder: We tested it, and people just did not know how to… I don’t know. I thought it was awesome, personally. Maybe there’s a cult version of it that’ll exist that I can put together sometime [Laughs], but for a mass audience, it just played as this super culty, bizarro ending. I love it, personally. I could tell that people just didn’t know how to take it, though.
Interviewer: Was it difficult conducting test-screenings because of how much of a love it or hate it type of film it is?
Zack Snyder: What I learned on this was that you can’t test a movie like Sucker Punch. It really defies the whole concept of being tested. In a lot of ways, I think the movie would have been a million times better off if we just made the hardest, craziest version of the movie we could and not trying to please every audience. I do think that the movie is crazy, in a great way, but it’s just funny that I think it’s 30% as crazy as it could have been. I think that’s the world it lives in. It lives in a crazy world.
When “Love is the Drug” is in the body of the film, and you’ll see it in the Director’s Cut, it’s… it is in the end title credits, but I took it out because the overall sense with the other scenes missing, there wasn’t enough threat in the brothel. The brothel became too fun, in a lot of ways. I had taken back the darkness a little bit for the MPAA, so you end up with a less sinister brothel. Therefore, with “Love is the Drug,” you’d think, “Why are they complaining? It’s awesome in there!” [Laughs]
Interviewer: Did you find it frustrating having to change the film because of so many different reactions, like the MPAA and test-screenings?
Zack Snyder: 100%. It was 100% frustrating trying to have to live in that box when you build this crazy thing. It’s like, you build this super crazy and personal thing, then through a series of conversations or criticisms or whatever… I mean, I know what world I live in, so I’m not bitter about it. But you just end up with a different sort of movie.
Interviewer: Would you say the Director’s Cut is that fuller, crazier version?
Zack Snyder: It’s fuller, but it’s not all the way.
Interviewer: What’s missing to make it ‘all the way’?
Zack Snyder: It doesn’t have the “O-o-h Child” ending.
Interviewer: Why can’t that be put back in?
Zack Snyder: It’s just money and everything. The effects were never finished. If the movie is successful, I would absolutely go back and do it for sure.