The Clown Prince of Crime has turned 75 years old, so what better way can SUICIDE SQUAD writer/director David Ayer (SABOTAGE, FURY) honor the legendary villain than by revealing his new look for the upcoming film. We’ve been teased for a few weeks now with shots of actor Jared Leto (DALLAS BUYERS CLUB) shaving his eyebrows and dyeing his hair green. Well, here is our first look at what the character will at least look like in full make-up (courtesy of Ayer’s Twitter):
First things first: let’s not start bemoaning this interpretation mainly because of what I call the “Ledger factor”. No doubt that the late Heath Ledger’s turn in the purple suit left an unforgettable impact on not just the mythology of the Harlequin of Hate and Batman, but on comic books and comic book movies as a whole. But everyone seems to quickly forget that there were nay sayers a-plenty when the 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU heartthrob was first announced to play the Joker. “How could he ever hope to top what Jack Nicholson did?” seemed to be a common complaint…and we had not even heard the dude say one line of dialogue!
I can imagine fans and haters alike are probably thinking the same thing right now: “How can Leto ever hope to top what Heath did?”
The truth is, no one should be out to top anyone. That’s the great thing especially about the Batman characters: they can be adapted to suit whatever the mood, culture or times need them to be. Every actor’s approach to the character has been different, be it Cesar Romero’s wild and goofy antics in the ’66 TV show, Jack Nicholson’s very “Nicholson”-y turn in the 1989 film, Mark Hamill’s morbidly hilarious voice work on BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES or Heath’s bleak and anarchistic (yet still darkly comedic) portrayal in Christopher Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT. Who knows what Leto’s characterization will be like? I’m not the guy’s biggest fan, but I’m also not an avid hater. He’s done some great work and he’s done some bad work. So did Heath and so has Jack. I’m not going to be griping solely off of the actor involved. And again…he hasn’t even said one word of dialogue.
As for the look…I’m okay with it. It’s different and that’s fine. I’ve always seen the Joker as some homicidal larger-than-life rock star anyways. While Ledger’s Joker definitely had a grunge-like look and almost Cobain-ish “life fucks us all” demeanor, Leto’s version is looking to be sort of a mix between Marilyn Manson and Blink-182’s tatted-up drummer Travis Barker (with some teeth bling and a Michael Jackson glove thrown in for good measure). Hey, as long as it all works within the context of the film and DC shared universe. Mister J has not let me down yet in his 75 years, so I’m still very intrigued as to where this road takes him.
SUICIDE SQUAD suits up for theaters August 5, 2016!
What do you all think? Love the new look for the Joker? Utterly despise it? Who has been your favorite Joker so far? Let us know in the comments below!