Trapped between two magnificent interpretations of the Clown Prince of Crime, lies Jared Leto’s version of the iconic Batman villain – The Joker. His take on the character for 2016’s Suicide Squad was doomed from the moment fans got their first look at his heavily-tattooed and ‘damaged’ design.
Although it’s been a few years, Suicide Squad has been back in the spotlight.
The hashtag caught the attention of the movie’s director, David Ayer who has been quite active on social media, reminiscing about the film, its reception, and his experiences on what proved to be a rather troubled production.
A week ago, David Ayer took to Twitter to say he felt “Jared was pretty mistreated” during Suicide Squad. His statement being in reference to the enforced re-shoots and re-editing, meaning his performance “was ripped out of the movie”.
He made the comments in a quoted re-tweet of a fan’s post which defended Jared Leto’s Joker from accusations that it wasn’t “comic book accurate”.
Jared was pretty mistreated during this. No one has seen his performance. It was ripped out of the movie. https://t.co/gSOeyJjtyd
— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) June 2, 2020
After the movie’s release, many fans accused Ayer of fundamentally misunderstanding the character and turning him into something unrecognizable.
Ayer went on to defend his interpretation of the Joker, in response to a fan who had compiled a series of photos from the movie and placed them alongside famous Batman comics with similar artwork.
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
After looking at the movie photos in conjunction with the artwork from 1986’s The Dark Knight Returns, 1999’s Batman: Harley Quinn, 2008’s Batman R.I.P., and 2015’s Batman: Endgame, it’s pretty clear that Ayer took great care to ensure his Joker matched the look from some of the best comic book stories the character has ever appeared in.
The photos also show that even the most questionable aspects of Joker’s look (like the silver suit, the tattoos and the slicked back green hair) had a solid base in the comics.
Honestly, the criticism of Joker’s look in Suicide Squad was a result of general audiences not being aware of the character’s many different looks from the comics.
While the Joker’s look was comic-accurate, what threw fans off the most was Jared Leto’s acting (which Honest Trailers described as “Jim Carrey crossed with a cat”). However, this might be a little unfair since Leto was only in the movie for about ten minutes. According to Ayer, most of the actor’s work that would have better established the character was cut from the film.