From the second his casting was first announced, a lot of fans never seemed totally sold on the idea of Jared Leto playing the Joker in Suicide Squad. While he’s proven to be a great actor with the right material, as an Academy Award win for Best Supporting Actor will attest, he didn’t seem like the right fit to take on one of popular culture’s most iconic villains.
In fact, there was backlash almost as soon as the first official image of him in character was released, with people claiming he looked more like a low-rent juggalo than the Clown Prince of Crime. Then came numerous tales of his bizarre behavior on set as he went full-blown Method, and by the time Suicide Squad was released the knives were already out.
Although many of his scenes got left on the cutting room floor, the little screentime he had hardly convinced the skeptics that he was the man for the job, and almost as soon as the dust had settled, Warner Bros. went about pretending like Leto’s Joker had never existed, erasing him from the DCEU’s continuity and placing their focus on Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips’ R-rated solo movie.
Director David Ayer hasn’t been shy in admitting he fell victim to some heavy-handed studio interference on Suicide Squad, and in a recent exchange with a fan on Twitter, the filmmaker confirmed a long-held theory about why the Joker decided to get a tattoo on his forehead.
— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) May 4, 2020
Maybe that was a plot thread that was going to be developed and expanded on in Ayer’s Suicide Squad 2, Leto’s planned Joker spinoff, Ben Affleck’s The Batman or all of the above, but with the DCEU now virtually unrecognizable from how it looked even three years ago, it’ll never be mentioned again. That being said, quite how more casual audiences were supposed to interpret the intricate backstory of the tattoo from what happened in either Batman V Superman or Suicide Squad is anybody’s guess.