Here we are, a couple months from the release of David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. The summers last big comic book movie, which sees a rag tag group of super villains doing some bad (a whole lots of it) to do some good. In the mix of all that is the latest silver screen iteration of The Joker with Jared Leto taking on the role of the mad clown. It is this, the appearance of The Joker, that has generated more buzz and interest than the rest of the cast, or the movie itself for that matter. And why not? Jared Leto is the latest actor to take on the crown prince of crime. A task not so easily met. Especially coming off the back of Heath Ledger’s memorable performance in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, with a portrayal so distinguishable and defining, that getting the public to accept anyone new taking on the character is a damn near sacrilege. In order to get the public to suspend Ledger’s Joker from memory would require something new. Something so outrageously different that audiences couldn’t possibly compare the two. Enter Jared Leto with a purple pimp jacket and tattoos that would make the Russian mob jealous.
The look of this new version of The Joker has certainly caused quite a stir among comics fans and the like, being that there is nothing too familiar outside of the signature green hair. This new take on the character seems a little too far off the reservation but that hasn’t for one minute slowed down anyone’s curiosity. Least not while wild stories of Leto’s intense method acting and the bizarre gifts that he’s imparted to the rest of the cast and crew continue to swirl about. Still. That Jacket, those tats, that whacked out meth look…. what is that all about?
“A lot of it has to do with creating a character with some kind of history and footprint in our world. And not have this sacrosanct being outside of our continuum, our reality. If a guy like him really existed today, where would he come from? How would he do business? Who would he know? What would he look like? In my mind, I took a lot of inspiration from drug lords on Instagram. It’s a great way to understand the lifestyle of a villain.”
What about those those tats? Here’s what he had to say about the “specific story” being told through The Joker’s body art:
“The tattoos tell a very specific story. And eventually people will decipher them and understand what’s going on, but obviously they’re contentious, any time you do something new it’s contentious. There’s very specific stories and easter eggs in those tattoos. And even his teeth, there’s an entire story behind that which is absolutely canon. It’s putting his history on his body. This Joker is a little more working class, who I believe could live in our world.”
Perhaps one of the Easter Eggs Ayer is talking about is in reference to Jim Lee and Frank Miller‘s Joker in his All-Star Batman & Robin series which reveals a red dragon tattoo on the Jokers back. A tattoo, or least a resemblance too it, that can be spotted on Jada Toy’s Suicide Squad METAL Diecast figures (seen above). Dunno why David Ayer would be inspired by All-Star Batman & Robin as it was trashed far and wide by critics and readers alike; as well as offering no explanation for the Red Dragon tattoo other than it being a part of The Jokers body no ones seen before.
When asked about Jared Leto’s method acting ways, David Ayer had this to say:
“With Jared, it’s tough for him. He constantly has to give birth to himself, he goes away, he comes back, he shoots, he goes away… The Joker is something you have to be, and you can see how exhausting and painful it is for him to be this character. But you can feel it when he comes to work, the crew feels it, everyone feels it. It’s like the birds stop flying. He’s f***ing terrifying.”
Jared Leto’s Joker certainly looks and sounds terrifying but perhaps for two entirely different reasons. Time will tell.
Suicide Squad laughs its way into theaters August 5th.