Though they often seem to get all the credit and are typically the focal point in almost any movie, heroes aren’t always the most interesting aspect of a story. We’ve all heard of the anti-hero – not always quite admirable, but a downright blast to watch onscreen none the less. It’s exactly this rough around the edges element that takes a character from safe and dependable to potentially dangerous and unpredictable.
In other words, audiences like to see troublemakers. In fact, it’s a safe bet to say that for many people, the villain a hero faces off against in a film is sometimes far more interesting than the hero himself. A well-crafted villain who plays by their own rules can be an undeniably fascinating character – depending of course, on who the actor is who’s playing said villain.
Having been portrayed by a variety of highly skilled actors over the years, The Joker is arguably one of the most widely loved onscreen villains of all time. The upcoming Suicide Squad movie has kept things rather hush hush regarding Jared Leto’s take on the infamous psychopath role, but thanks to the film’s director David Ayer, a little more light has now been shed on the notorious criminal mastermind, with the following USA Today quote:
"It’s a scary character to tackle. 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."
Ayer, who also wrote the Suicide Squad screenplay, is an obvious fan of the rivalry between Batman and The Joker and as a result, was taken aback by Leto’s convincing transformation.
"The hairs stand up on the back of your neck. If you're a Batman fan, you have to love/hate the Joker because he’s the best nemesis ever. Just to have him on one of my film sets, it was a very memorable thing for me."
While Ayer’s enthusiasm for the iconic villain’s portrayal in Suicide Squad is an encouraging sign, there’s no getting around the fact that Jared Leto has some mighty shoes to fill as the Joker - particularly when compared to Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning work for the role in The Dark Knight. Fortunately, Suicide Squad producer and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice director, Zack Snyder is confident that Leto’s Joker is the real deal.
"I was very much looped in on the crazy stuff happening with that. 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."
There’s every reason to believe that Jared Leto’s turn as The Joker is going to be wonderfully insane. Though there hasn’t been a lot of scenes or images of the character thus far, this is likely to keep the lid on a performance that stands a very good chance of stealing the show when Suicide Squad opens in theaters this summer. For now we have only the assurances of the filmmakers that something special is going on - but when dealing with The Joker, a larger than life, crazed spectacle isn’t expecting too much.
NEXT: Suicide Squad Posters
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25, 2016, which is followed by Suicide Squad on August 5, 2016; Wonder Woman on June 23, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 23, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and then Green Lantern Corps. on June 19, 2020.
Source: USA Today