Article written by Dylan McGuire Devine (8/11/21)
The Joker is one of the most iconic movie/comic book villains of all-time and there have been many different portrayals of the character, but Jared Leto’s portrayal of the character is arguably the most controversial.
Leto first appeared as the Joker in the 2016 DC film “Suicide Squad“. This film is one of the most hated comic book movies ever and is looked at from fans as just a terrible movie. There are many reasons why fans disliked this film so much, but one of the main reasons is the lack of Joker screen time in the film. Going into the film, the Joker was one of the most heavily marketed characters for “Suicide Squad”. He played a big role in almost all of the trailers for the film and there was plenty of Joker merchandise put out going into the films release. But we ended up getting I believe less than 15 minutes of screen time from Jared Leto’s Joker in the film.
Now there are plenty of rumors surrounding why we got little to no Joker in the film. One reason why is because it has been said that Warner Bros shut down most of David Ayer’s ideas for the film and ended up cutting a bunch of scenes that were filmed and basically made it their own instead of broadcasting Ayer’s vision for the film. It is so bad that fans and Ayer himself are asking for WB to release his cut of the film, similar to what they did with Zack Snyder.
The Joker we were presented in the film was not too popular or liked amongst fans. For many different reasons. The tattoos, the grills, the flashy outfits, the laugh, etc… It basically comes down to the fact that David Ayer’s vision for the Joker was different then any Joker we have seen before. Here’s the thing. Some of the tattoos he had were for Batman. Joker got the “damaged” tattoo in Arkham Asylum after Batman beat his teeth in after Joker killed Robin. This was to show Batman that he really damaged him. This is also where he got the teeth grills from. This is just one example that there was a reason behind everything Ayer did with the Joker and fans didn’t seem to realize that.
Suicide Squad flopped. We all know it did and we all know the final cut of the film was terrible. “Were there any scenes that weren’t cut? There were so many scenes that got cut from the movie, I couldn’t even start. I think that the Joker… we did a lot of experimentation on the set, we explored a lot. There’s so much that we shot that’s not in the film” Leto said in an interview with IGN. If we got Ayer’s cut of the film or even if there were some small changes made to the film I truly believe Leto’s Joker would not be so controversial or disliked.
Jared Leto returned as the Joker in Zack Snyder’s Justice League and this version of the character was completely different and redesigned from the Joker we saw in Suicide Squad. This version was actually very much liked by fans and had us all wanting more of the character. The untold truth of Jared Leto’s Joker is that his portrayal of the character is not bad. Leto was just apart of a very messed up situation regarding the film he was in and it ended up messing with his portrayal of the character and his vision for the character. Leto is a phenomenal actor and his version of the clown prince of crime is one of my favorites,