In honor of The Joker’s 75th anniversary, the director of the upcoming Suicide Squad film tweeted out the first full-on shot of Jared Leto as the film’s Joker. It was certainly… different… and Twitter went ablaze with folks sharing their opinions on the radical new design. Check out the best comments…
As the host of Cape Crisis, I’ve always been forthcoming with opinions on the upcoming slate of DC films – mainly that Man of Steel and what little we’ve seen of its follow-ups were needlessly, annoyingly gritty. When Oscar winner/sex symbol of the ’90s Jared Leto was cast as The Joker in the Suicide Squad film, I was curious to see just how he’d play the character differently than Mr. J had been in previous movies. The director Dave Ayer tweeted this out on Friday night:
— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) April 25, 2015
I have so very many thoughts about the prison-tatted, meth-mouthed, Juggalo-ish Joker. Let me be clear, I’m not bothered the look diverges so much from the comics, because it doesn’t. Joker’s been around so long that he’s had dozens of different looks in the comics. To me, this borrows heavily from Morrison’s post-gunshot Joker, Frank Miller’s DKR figure, and Azzarello & Bermejo’s incarnation, all of which are some of Mr. J’s best comics. Joker isn’t always wearing nice purple suits and shooting acid from a boutonniere – sometimes he can look like Marilyn Manson, and (theoretically) that can be ok too. It’ll be interesting to see how Leto portrays the character in more than a single still image.
However, my bigger issue with this image is how this sets off alarm bells for the rest of the troubled Suicide Squad production, as well as the overall direction of DC’s films. When choosing the tone, it looks like Warner is tripling down on the kind of angst-ridden grit and super-serious anger that I’ve not been enjoying since, oh, I suppose the Identity Crisis miniseries. There’s just so much needless barbarity, and it all comes off as an adolescent attempt at maturity, when it’s really as “mature” as the M-rated Duke Nukem Forever. If you come in with the bias that the spate of Justice League films is overflowing with morose, depressing jerks, images like this one can immediately set you off.
Funnily enough, after Warner decided to share Leto’s Joker on Twitter, the social media hub soon exploded with people sharing their thoughts on this radical look of the clown prince of crime. Some of these people are comedians, others are members of the press, and you may even find a previous Laser Time guest in there. Here are my favorite comments on Joker’s new design…
The first thing we thought when we saw the new joker. pic.twitter.com/PGsVd5iFvY
— The Yetee (@theyetee) April 25, 2015
TIME TO BRING BACK THE JOKER WHO WEARS A FANCY-ASS PURPLE SUIT AND BLASTS PRINCE ALL DAY
— April Richardson (@Apey) April 25, 2015
We’re all on a rock hurtling through space. Sometimes men become women. Sometimes we don’t like how Joker looks. We’re all doing our best. — Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) April 25, 2015
— Jon Daly (@jondaly) April 25, 2015
The Jared Leto Joker would be a great Joker Gang member who thinks he’s really cool and gets taken out first. — Baewatch Nights (@EricaFails) April 25, 2015
Glad to be living in a world where people are more accepting of Bruce Jenner than Jared Leto’s Joker.
— Paul Scheer (@paulscheer) April 25, 2015
Congrats to the committee that designed the new Joker. — Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) April 25, 2015
The Joker wrapping his arm in plastic and asking Harley if they can switch bed sides tonight because his “HAHAHA” tattoo is still fresh.
— Anthony Carboni (@acarboni) April 25, 2015
Internet responds appropriately to the first image of Joker: pic.twitter.com/nAgtp4hYTj
— Kevin Polowy (@djkevlar) April 25, 2015
— – ̗̀new ̖́- Spacedad (@SuperSpacedad) April 25, 2015
No matter how you feel about the new Joker, you’ve gotta admit at least a few of those are pretty clever. As for me, I’m trying to come at this with as much of an open mind as possible, and Suicide Squad is one of my favorite DC concepts. Yet, stuff like that and this YouTube video about how drearily saturated Man of Steel became aren’t instilling a ton of hope.
Feel free to talk all about it in the comments. Also, to prove I’m not some Marevl-loving hater on all things Detective Comics, check out these links to some of my favorite Joker stories. And, as long as we’re talking comic book films, why not check out Laser Time’s brand new commentaries for The Avengers and Iron Man 3! They’re now available on the Laser Time Bandcamp page.
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