Jared Leto’s take on the Joker in Suicide Squad comes in for a lot of criticism, some of it unfair. It’s known that large chunks of Leto’s performance were left on the cutting room floor, most significantly the fleshing out of his relationship with Harley Quinn. Beyond that, he had the difficult job of following Heath Ledger and has now been comprehensively overshadowed by Joaquin Phoenix. Honestly, though, there were aspects of his scuzzy, trashpunk Spring Breakers-influenced Joker that I kinda liked.
Suicide Squad director David Ayer still believes that he and Leto got it right, too. Since the film’s release, he’s talked up how impressed he was with the actor and how he prepared for the role. But now, in response to a picture posted on Twitter, Ayer’s arguing that Leto’s Joker is comic-accurate.
His proof is an image that shows Leto’s take matched with several iconic depictions from the comics. We see him compared with Brian Bolland’s from The Killing Joke, Tony Daniels’ from Batman RIP, Frank Miller’s from The Dark Knight Returns and Alex Ross’ from Batman: Harley Quinn. But while the visuals and poses certainly match up, I still think it’s a leap to say the Leto Joker was comic-accurate.
Amazing. Tracks exactly with how I built the looks – “Not comic book accurate” 🤣🤣🤣 I cant. 🤦♂️ https://t.co/6WAGSXpTzT
— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) June 4, 2020
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Then again, the Joker is one of the most malleable figures in comics – able to be both Cesar Romero’s clown-about-town and Heath Ledger’s philosophically minded anarchist. Basically, the Joker has had so many personalities over the years that claiming that any specific one is the ‘real’ Joker just doesn’t work.
Right now, it’s looking extremely unlikely that Leto will ever return for more. Warner Bros. have probably concluded that after the wild success of Joker, he’s best left in the past. Plus, we’re hearing that the next big Joker casting will be for the sequel to Matt Reeves’ The Batman, which should be with us sometime in the mid-2020s.
So, if you’re a Leto Joker fan, your best bet is to campaign for that Ayer Cut of Suicide Squad to be released.