At this point, the story of how David Ayer’s Suicide Squad was made definitely has the potential to be more interesting than the actual film itself. It seems every other day brings a new tale of the craziness that took place on set, as the star-studded cast physically fought each other during rehearsals and even inflicted harm on themselves to get into character and develop a strong chemistry with one another. Based on all the footage from the trailers and TV spots, their efforts seemed to have paid off, and Suicide Squad is poised to be a rare breakout hit this summer.
During the pre-release phase, new Joker Jared Leto made plenty of headlines for the great lengths he went to to completely embody the Clown Prince of Crime. Some of the alleged stories about the Oscar winner were truly unnerving, including the various “gifts” he gave to his co-stars. A few of the items he supposedly shared were definitely bizarre, and now Leto has provided an explanation for his thought process behind the idea.
In an interview with Fox 5, Leto discussed his approach, revealing that it helped him understand the characters that make up the Suicide Squad ensemble:
“It was interesting to do because the Joker loves to play games he loves to manipulate and that was part of the reason to do that and when you do give a gift to someone even in real life you think about, ‘What do I get them?’ ‘Who that person is to you?’ ‘What do they like?’ So that immediately started to be really good homework to me… I gave Deadshot a briefcase full of bullets. It was kind of a message, it was kind of a threat, it was kind of a reminder… I wrote every character a note – a poem. What it did was that it started me on a journey into thinking what these people are, and it was a lot of fun.”
There’s no denying that Leto incorporated some extreme methods to prepare for his role, but a few of the more outlandish reports regarding his behavior appear to have been exaggerated. The actor mentioned that some of his supposed presents were never handed out, calling into question which ones are the real deal. In addition, we heard during our set visit last summer that Leto wasn’t “completely lost in the character,” with Margot Robbie saying her Mr. J was “really, really respectful and professional, and lovely.” This doesn’t mean Leto was any less committed to inhabiting the Joker, it’s just that in this instance, fiction was a bit stranger than the truth.
It’s no surprise that Leto went all-out, given that he has a long history of undergoing remarkable transformations for each role (see: Dallas Buyers Club, Chapter 27). In addition, there’s a tremendous amount of pressure on the actor to deliver a high-quality turn. Not only is the Joker one of the most iconic villains in all of pop culture, Leto is in the unenviable position of following the late great Heath Ledger’s career-defining Dark Knight performance. Though eight years separate The Dark Knight from Suicide Squad, Ledger’s unhinged version is still fresh in many viewers’ minds and comparisons between the two are inevitable. Leto has to do something to make his take stand out, and by all accounts he’s been successful in that.
Ideally, Suicide Squad will be just the first of many times Leto gets to portray a character he’s become very much attached to. As Ben Affleck works on his solo Batman flick, there will be more opportunities to include the Joker in future DCEU installments. The villain is such an integral part of the lore that it’s difficult to envision Warner Bros. only using Leto once. In all likelihood, he’ll be a fixture in the franchise for years to come, leaving his mark on the genre as a whole.
Suicide Squad is scheduled to arrive in theaters on August 5, 2016; Wonder Woman is slated for release onJune 2, 2017; followed by Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The Flash is currently without a release date.
Source: Fox 5
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