Jared Leto’s Joker is probably the most controversial live-action take on the iconic villain to date. The eccentric, psychopathic punk gangster in Suicide Squad was certainly distinctive, though it seems the vast majority of people rank him below Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, and Joaquin Phoenix.
But his defenders point out that large chunks of Leto’s Suicide Squad performance were left on the cutting room floor and that we never saw what director David Ayer intended. It’s a shame because both men certainly put a lot of hard work into preparing for their new evolution on the Clown Prince of Crime. Over the past few weeks, Ayer has been posting some of the unused looks on his Instagram, with the latest being particularly interesting. Check it out:
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This take ditches the “damaged” forehead tattoo in favor of “ha ha ha” lines making up his eyebrows and a thick laughing grin tattoo around his mouth. It’s a disturbing look, leaning more into the idea of him as a violent criminal without much in the way of debonair style.
Ayer’s posts have led many to theorize that we may see an announcement of a Suicide Squad ‘Ayer Cut’ on HBO Max soon. While his treatment by Warner Bros wasn’t quite as bad as Zack Snyder’s was during Justice League, the theatrical cut of Suicide Squad was objectively butchered and removed a lot of important material.
The biggest losses were to Leto’s Joker scenes, which would have fleshed out his relationship with Harley Quinn. We also lost a lot of material linking Suicide Squad to Justice League, making explicit Enchantress’ links with Apokalips. Harley’s character was also trimmed down, and we know there’s an excised tryst with Will Smith’s Deadshot.
After the barnstorming success of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, it feels like a no-brainer to give us the real Suicide Squad. Let’s hope that’s what David Ayer is teasing.