I recently claimed to not really care what Jared Leto’s version of The Joker will look like in Suicide Squad, David Ayer and Warner Bros.’ adaptation of DC’s Dirty Dozen for super-villains comic book.
Why? Because it doesn’t come out until August 5, 2016, and that’s a long dang time from now
Why? Because Heath Ledger’s Joker is still fresh in my memory.
Why? Because I don’t actually get the impression that Leto’s Joker will receive a significant amount of screen-time even if his presence looms large over the plot.
Why? Because I’ve already experienced three cinematic Jokers at this point (Romero, Nicholson, Ledger) whereas I’ve never seen many of the Suicide Squad characters in anything live-action before and even then sometimes it was just on Arrow or The Flash where the budget is much smaller than a big movie.
Why? Because I don’t need anything other than Harley Quinn to make me excited for this movie. As far as I am concerned, the The Joker in the Suicide Squad is a mere necessity to finally give us a live action Harley Quinn, to be played by Margot Robbie. He’s a box office insurance character they’ve thrown in which I am accepting because I am a huge fan of the New 52 Suicide Squad comic book, and also because I don’t know how you do Harley Quinn without at least some kind of initial presence for The Joker.
Of course, I am still vaguely curious about Leto’s Joker because, well, it’s the Joker. To this point, though, I think his presence is actually pulling focus away from the rest of the Suicide Squad. Then again, the byproduct is that way more people are aware of this film, validating my opinion about the studio putting the Joker in as box office insurance.
Well, now here’s our first full look at Jared Leto’s Joker:
That’s…not quite what I expected. I don’t love or hate it; I’m still taking it all in. It’s like they made The Joker a character from HBO’s prison drama Oz. I can adjust to that, though I don’t think I’ll ever forgive the extreme laziness of his forehead tattoo none-too-subtly labeling him “Damaged.” Other than that, I think Twitter has it pretty well covered:
That last one ultimately sums it up for me. You can look back at the history of the Joker in the comics and notice that beyond certain constants, such as his hair color and the color scheme of his costume, he’s been re-imagined multiple times. You can look back at the history of superhero movie costume reveals and attempt to figure out how often bad or controversial costumes have actually translated to weak films. You can think back in your own personal history to see if you’ve been wrong in embracing or rejecting a costume based on a photo alone. For example, I know I kind of hated Grant Gustin’s The Flash costume the first time I saw it, but by the end of The Flash pilot I was so swept up in the show I barely gave the costume a second thought. Ultimately, though, if The Joker turns out to be as important to the Suicide Squad as the early social media promotion by David Ayer might suggest then they’re making the wrong movie. I am only really here for Harley Quinn.
The Suicide Squad is due out August 5, 2016.