‘Suicide Squad’: Jared Leto’s Ambitious Joker Performance Teased by David Ayer, Zack Snyder

     January 19, 2016


With Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice just around the corner, we can finally look forward to getting some more promotional glances at Warner Bros. other major 2016 DC release — Suicide Squad. Director David Ayer’s ensemble anti-hero film promises an exciting change of pace in the year’s superhero-saturated release schedule, putting the title troupe of villains front and center. It’s also re-introducing one of the most iconic comic book villains of all time via Jared Leto‘s Joker.

While speaking with USA Today, Ayer emphasized that this new incarnation will remain faithful to the roots of the character, but he will also be one of the most downright freaky versions to date.


Image via Warner Bros.

Said Ayer,

“This iteration of him, people will realize there really is a continuity of history — there is a lot of respect for what the Joker represents, who he is as a character. He is the best known villain in fiction so there’s an incredible responsibility there to also be faithful to what he is but at the same time push him into this next world, next time, next phase.”

Leto, pretty famously at this point, went way method with The Joker — staying in character for long stretches of time and giving his lady-love Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) a pet rat. Naturally, people didn’t want to hang around the batty (beg pardon) actor who refused to exit the mindset of a psychopathic killer. Or, as Ayer puts it, “people kept their distance.” Ya think?

But Ayer says he enjoyed the process of watching Leto get real freaky with it,

“I love helping actors find what methodology works best for them. It’s like tailoring a suit — it’s not one size fits all. But it really made an event when he would show up on set. There was almost a pageantry to him, which did translate into the character and the power on screen he has.”


Image via David Ayer

Did Leto every freak him out? “Big time. The hairs stand up on the back of your neck,” said the director, who grew up a Batman fan and was excited to have one of the hero’s most iconic nemesis on his film set.

BvS director and Justice League mastermind Zack Snyder — who says he was “very much looped in on the crazy stuff happening with that” despite never visiting the Toronto set — also commented on Leto’s zeal.

“The commitment to the role, you’re going to see that really shine through in a way that you’re not used to seeing actors in movies really go all the way with (in) every little moment and every little breath…You’re going to get taken on a journey with Jared that I don’t know that everyone’s ready for but I think it will be amazing.”

It’s still a bit of a mystery how all The Joker’s creepiness will fit into the plot of Suicide Squad. We’ve yet to see him side-by-side with the titular squad, and even in the latest poster, he’s isolated and well-removed from the rest of the cast. Maybe we’ll get a better idea of how the iconic villain factors into the proceedings when Warner Bros. unveils the first official trailer (remember that unruly Comic-Con footage was but a sizzle reel — never intended for public consumption).

Keep an eye out for the new trailer when it airs after the half-hour special DC Films Presents: Dawn of the Justice League on The CW tonight, January 19th at 9:30/8:30c.


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