After fans were blasted with Jared Leto’s grilled and tattooed take on DC Comics’ the Joker, the actor has become the somewhat controversial center of focus for the upcoming Suicide Squad film. Leto takes on the role – most recently portrayed in live-action form by the late Heath Ledger in director Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight – as a way of offering a clean start for the iconic villain on the big screen.
Production on Suicide Squad wrapped this week (at the time of writing this) on August 24th, 2015, with co-writer/director David Ayer (End of Watch, Fury) and the film’s cast celebrating by way of (what else?) a wrap party. However, Leto did more than that to mark the end of filming on the project.
With a day of Suicide Squad finishing production, Leto took to Instagram, teasing his post-Joker haircut (see below):
Social media has become such a major marketing force for the film industry, every little thing related to a film could provide fans with another kernel to ponder as they await its release date. This tactic has proven especially effective within the sub-genre of superhero films, with the viral Deadpool film marketing efforts of star Ryan Reynolds and 20th Century Fox being one such recent example. Suicide Squad has also taken advantage of the large number of social-media-savvy superhero fans, offering a steady stream of images and video from the film’s production, with a heavy focus both on Leto’s Joker and Margot Robbie’s take on his unhinged paramour Harley Quinn.
Fans initially decried both Leto’s tattoos and dental grill in the photo — as both are striking departures from the comic book source material — going so far as to speculate that his post wasn’t really how the Joker was going to be portrayed, but rather a joke; at least until the Suicide Squad trailer confirmed that this was going to be his look for the film. But this isn’t an uncommon phenomenon. Fan outrage over comic book adaptations have been around roughly as long as comic book adaptations have been around.
Fans were outraged when Michael Keaton was chosen to portray Batman in the 1989 film, and even panned initial images of Ledger’s Joker. Both performances are now considered iconic, if not classic, among comic book aficionados. While the latest incarnation is yet another departure from the familiar, there’s no reason to doubt that an Oscar-winning talent like Leto can’t make it mesmerizing. Already, initial resistance has started to fade in the wake of the first Suicide Squad footage being unveiled. Perhaps Leto’s take will come to be revered right alongside Ledger’s once the film is released.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25th, 2016; Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman on June 23rd, 2017; Justice League on November 17th, 2017; The Flash on March 23rd, 2018; Aquaman on July 27th, 2018; Shazam on April 5th, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14th, 2019; Cyborg on April 3rd, 2020; Green Lantern Corps on June 19th, 2020. Dates for the untitled Batman solo movie and Man of Steel 2 have yet to be announced.
Source: Jared Leto