The Joker is always a fan favourite when it comes to DC universe villains turning up in any medium, be it comics, games or films. So he’s always going to be scrutinised to the nth degree when a new version of him is unveiled. Suicide Squad’s Joker is the latest in line for this.
Of course, the images we’ve seen of Jared Leto as Joker in Suicide Squad have been met with equal parts excitement and trepidation. Personally, I’m in the excitement camp and I think that Leto is absolutely going to kill it.
All we know so far about Suicide Squad’s Joker is what we’ve seen from the trailer and the teaser pictures that keep being released. The shot where Joker’s holding a camera and the one with his silhouette in the desert have led to speculation on whether there will be parallels with the comic Batman: The Killing Joke.
I’m also wondering what similarities Jared Leto will draw from previous film incarnations of Joker. Heath Ledger’s take is the most recent and will be a tricky one to follow.
From the trailer, where he says with wide-eyed smile “I’m just going to hurt you… really, really badly”, it looks like Leto’s going to go all out maniacal. He’s clearly kept the grittiness that Ledger had, which is in-keeping with the feel of Suicide Squad, but you can picture him as more of the laughing psychopath that Joker more often is.
Looking at Leto’s past roles it’s easy to imagine him playing the part of a criminally insane clown-like supervillain. He’s played slightly otherworldly feeling individuals before, such as when he was Angel Face in Fight Club. He can do eccentric and captivating characters too, which he proved as Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club. Even in the music video for 30 Seconds to Mars’ The Kill, he had those crazed expressions and gentlemanliness that would work for Joker. Leto probably could take Joker in any direction and he’ll probably get it right for the feel of the film.
Of course, we need to talk about the design of Suicide Squad’s Joker too. The white body paint, green hair and red lipstick are all essential and I think their even application look a lot nicer than, say, Ledger’s Joker. With piercing eyes like Leto’s too, the dark eye make-up and shaved-off eyebrows make him look all the more haunting. The purple glove is a nice touch too for completing the traditional Joker colour palette. But I’m not a fan of the metal teeth or the facial tattoos. The rest I can live with but may I join the crowd of voices shouting “lose the Damaged tattoo” and the J by his eye.