To say the DCEU’s Joker has been met with unanimous approval would be blatant lying. Out of all the characters introduced in the new cinematic universe, he’s undoubtedly received the most flak. Considering he’s supposed to be one of the major villains in the Batman mythology, something needs to be done to fix this—and fast. We look at five ways the DCEU can fix the Joker.
Burn his face
I defended the Joker’s controversial tattooed look for Suicide Squad, thinking the aesthetic choices would be explained in the film. But we got nada. David Ayer has said it’s because each tattoo tells a story, so where’s the story? How about actually including it in the film and not telling us about it afterwards?! When you mess with a classic character’s look, you better have a good reason. And Ayer and his team had none, apart from “it’ll look cool, bro”.
So how do we get rid of the stupid ‘damaged’ and ‘J’ tattoos on his face? Well, initially, the peeling off the face angle from “Death of the Family” crossed my mind, but that’ll be too dark for the universe’s new direction. So maybe the film-makers could use one of those deleted scenes from Suicide Squad where the character gets his face burnt. Since the character’s a nutjob, he could jump into another tub of acid or even undergo plastic surgery to fix his mug. At least this way we won’t have to stare at Juggalo Joker again.
Change his attire
Tying in with the above, what the hell was up with the Joker’s MC Hammer outfit in Suicide Squad? Put some clothes on him, and try keep with the same motif as the character’s traditional look. The tux in the helicopter scene was a step in the right direction, but the purple suit needs to make a comeback. Also, the steel teeth are fine for now, but I wouldn’t be adverse to him getting some dental work done.
While they’re at it, please get rid of that awful purple car. That was cringeworthy and about as on the nose as the ‘damaged’ tattoo.
Sever his ties with Harley Quinn
Yes, all the teenage girls on Twitter will be devastated, but who cares. The Joker is a psychopath—and his relationship with Harley is abusive and toxic. This shouldn’t be glamorised as a relationship goal or whatever. End of story. Considering the DCEU’s desire to be more fun and light-hearted, this relationship cannot exist in this universe unless the Joker’s made to be more empathic and lovey-dovey (which goes against the very grain of the character).
Separating the two could allow each character to flourish individually as well. Obviously references can be made to their past relationship, but there’s really no need to keep them together for any reason. With Harley appearing in the Gotham City Sirens film, this could be a terrific opportunity to split them up for good.
Out of all the options, this one might be the hardest to pull off. While a lot of fans have called for the angle to be implemented in the DCEU, can you imagine how confused the general audience will be? The Flash TV series had several episodes to do its own version of it, but it was still watered down from the source material. How exactly do you do this in a film without it becoming a convoluted mess?
Jared Leto has made it very clear he’s upset about all his scenes being cut in the Suicide Squad film. Truth be told, I don’t think any additional screen time could’ve saved the character in the film. It’s not that Leto is a horrible actor—quite the contrary—but does he want to be a part of the DCEU? If not, it’s time to cut the losses.
For the direction of the DCEU, the actor portraying the Joker needs to look more at Jack Nicholson’s version for inspiration, rather than Heath Ledger’s. Ledger’s portrayal worked for the tone of the trilogy; however, Nicholson’s is closer to where the DCEU wants to go. Let’s hope the boardroom meetings at Warner Bros. are spent discussing more about the character’s story than his edgy look.