The bad guys in the DC Extended Universe tried to do some good Suicide Squad, and over the weekend, director David Ayer shared a regret he has about Jared Leto’s Joker.

“Wish I had a time machine,” Ayer shared on Twitter Saturday. “I’d make Joker the main villain and engineer a more grounded story.”

Ayer’s revelation was spurred by a Twitter user named Jordan Elder who said he was “thankful for suicide squad” and dubbed it a “masterpiece.” Elder tagged Ayer, adding, “don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!”

Ayer seemed moved by the sentiment and replied with a lengthy reply, noting that he “tried to make something different” with Suicide Squad, “with a look and feel of its own.”

Despite Ayer’s ambition and style — influenced by “the insanity of the original comics” — the film didn’t connect with audiences emotionally. “Nothing hurts more than to pick up a newspaper and see a couple years of your blood, sweat, and tears ripped to shreds,” Ayer writes. “The hate game is strong out there,” Ayer writes.”

In addition to his regret about Joker, Ayer shared that he has “to give the characters the stories and plots they deserve next time. Real talk.”

There may very well be a next time for Ayer, because Suicide Squad made loads of money, which is always helpful in landing a new project. The movie’s poor reception from critics — the film is a mere 26 percent “fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes — hurts, though.

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Oh, and Ayer adds that there isn’t a “secret edit” with more Joker, despite whatever Jared Leto says.

Here’s Ayer’s full statement:

Thank you so much. I know it’s a controversial film, I really tried to make something different, with a look and a voice of its own.

I took inspiration from the insanity of the original comics. Making a movie is a journey, not a straight line. I learned so much. People want what they want, an everyone has a personal vision of how each character should look at walk and talk. If you set out to make a mass appeal movie, it’s easy to end up with vanilla. But I went for it. And I know Squad has its flaws, Hell the World knows it. Nothing hurts more than to pick up a newspaper and see a couple years of blood, sweat and tears ripped to shreds. The hate game is strong out there.

The movie was wildly successful commercially. And the World got introduced into some very cool characters in the DC Universe. And that success is due exactly to the wonder and power of DC, of its characters. Would I do a lot of things different? Yep, for sure.

Wish I had a time machine. I’d make Joker the main villain and engineer a more grounded story. I have to take the good and bad and learn from it. I love making movies and I love DC. I’m a High School dropout and used to paint houses for a living. I’m lucky to have the job I have. I have to give the characters the stories and plots they deserve next time. Real talk. (And no, there isn’t a secret edit of the film with a bunch of Joker scenes hidden in a salt mine somewhere.)

Photos via YouTube.com/Warner Bros. Pictures