Even though Suicide Squad was one of 2016’s most successful films from a commercial standpoint, it was also one of the year’s most disappointing in terms of quality (it’s up for two Razzie awards). Director David Ayer seems to be aware of the many criticisms leveled against his film, as recently posted a revealing statement about his regrets with Suicide Squad and how it all turned out.

“I know it’s a controversial film, I really tried to make something different, with a look and a voice of its own,” he wrote.

“If you set out to make a mass appeal movie, it’s easy to end up with vanilla,” Ayer continued. “But I went for it. And I know Suicide Squad has flaws, Hell, the World knows it. Nothing hurts more than to pick up a newspaper and see a copy years of your blood, sweat and tears ripped to shreds. The hate game is strong out there.”

Ayer goes on to discuss the main things he would change about the film if he were do it over, including making Jared Leto’s Joker the main villain instead of the brother and sister duo of Incubus and Enchantress.

“Wish I had a time machine,” Ayer wrote. “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 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.)”

With Ayer attached to direct the Suicide Squad spinoff Gotham City Sirens and most likely returning for a sequel in 2019, the filmmaker will have plenty of opportunity to tell a more “grounded” story going forward.

You can read Ayer’s full statement below: