When fans think of The Joker, several actors come to mind. At first, they might go back to the character's recent reprisal with Heath Ledger. Or, if they're feeling giddy, fans might reflect on Mark Hamill's work with the psychotic villain. There's also Jack Nicholson and Cesar Romero to think of - and soon - fans will have yet another actor look at with Jared Leto. Cast as The Joker for Suicide Squad, Leto has the world's eyes upon him ahead of the film's release. And, now, director David Ayer is telling fans what his version of the villain will bring.
Speaking with Cinemablend's Sean O'Connell, Ayer discussed his film, and more specifically, what inspired him to flesh out The Joker that Jared Leto took on. Ayer confessed that he drew most of his inspiration from DC Comics' earliest Batman issues, saying:
"I went back to the very first Joker comic. I think it was 1941 or something like that, which is also coincident with the first Batman comics. Batman the detective from the '40s had Joker as this insane gangster. When you look at the '40s and what was going on in the world, this concept of an insane gangster begins to make sense in regards to the time. So by then taking the insane gangster idea, the minimal seed, the core seed of Joker, bringing him into the modern world, what would an insane gangster look like today? That's when you get the tattoos, the car, and the clothes, and the attitude."
Ayer went on to compliment Jared Leto's bravery in tackling the role as the director knew fans would be critical of another interpretation of The Joker. He said, "It was scary. It was really, really scary. Because I'm a fan. And if you sit there as a fan, you're like, 'Wow, ok, someone is going to reinvent The Joker? WTF?'"
The director continued, saying, "But I'm really proud of what he did. It is The Joker. His performance as The Joker feels like The Joker. He became The Joker, and brought The Joker to life. So that worked. That really worked."
Now envisioned as an unhinged gangster taken from the 1940s, fans should prepare themselves for Jared Leto's version of The Joker. Strangely enough, something tells me the actor's work in Suicide Squad will be unlike anything fans have ever seen.