With Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, the brand new DC Extended Universe had its official beginning, and this fictional world of superheroes and supervillains will continue in 2016 with Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and David Ayer's Suicide Squad. While there's curiosity about how all of DC's upcoming heroes and villains will be handled, Jared Leto's version of the Joker is among those receiving the most attention. After all, following Heath Ledger's critically-acclaimed version from The Dark Knight is no easy task.
The first officially released image of Leto as Joker revealed the iconic Batman villain is being handled in a very different way - a way which has a slight nod to Frank Miller and Jim Lee's All-Star Batman and Robin: The Boy Wonder. Initial reactions to a Joker covered in tattoos were mixed and there's ongoing debate about the character's potential. However, Leto has been showing Joker's source material some love on his social media pages, and he's dropped yet another possible reference to Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's classic story, The Killing Joke.
Allan Moore and Brian Bolland'sgraphic novel The Killing Joke has received a couple of nods, first when Leto recreated the classic cover of Joker aiming a camera at the viewer, and then later in an official character image inspired by a memorable panel from Killing Joke. Now Leto has shared an image on Twitter that has fans wondering if he's giving Moore and Bolland's popular story yet another nod. In the photo, Leto's shadow reveals he's wearing a hat that looks very similar to the one Joker wore when he infamously shot and paralyzed Barbara Gordon/Batgirl - a heroine who has possibly already been cast.
— JARED LETO (@JaredLeto) August 10, 2015
Leto's band, 30 Seconds to Mars, will have a 3-day camping event in Malibu, CA towards the end of August, and based on his Twitter page it looks like that's probably where the actor took the latest picture. Since he's previously referenced Killing Joke, it seems clear this is just another way for him to help get fans excited about the DCEU's upcoming movies, and it probably shouldn't be viewed as a sign that Killing Joke will have a strong amount of influence in Suicide Squad. After all, Leto's been known to truly dedicate himself to a role, and this could just be a fun way of showing his fans that yes, he is indeed the Joker.
As seen in the Batman v Superman trailer, it appears Joker's presence will be felt in Snyder's movie, but Suicide Squad is where he'll get more time in the spotlight. Not only has Ayer's movie teased Joker turning Margot Robbie's character into Harley Quinn, but considering both the Oscar-winning actor and the villain's status, it's safe to say Joker will get a proper amount of time to shine in Suicide Squad. Whether or not there will be several nods to Killing Joke is a whole different story; one that we'll just have to wait to find out.
Meanwhile, Killing Joke will receive an animated movie in 2016. Mark Hamill, who voiced the character in Batman: The Animated Series and the Arkham video game franchise - will reportedly reprise his role. Fingers crossed Kevin Conroy will voice Batman.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25th, 2016, followed by 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; and Green Lantern Corps on June 19th, 2020.
Source: Jared Leto
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