A Look at Jared Leto’s Joker in Suicide Squad
This week Empire magazine gives us a new look at Jared Leto’s “psycho killer” Joker, as we can expect to seem him in next year’s Suicide Squad. Looking to be somewhere between Heath Ledger’s dark, gritty Joker, and the more manic, exaggerated Joker as portrayed by Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman, or the brilliant version that Mark Hamill voices in several animated series and features, we’re eager to see this take from Leto and writer/director David Ayer. Here’s how he looks on Empire’s “Suicide Squad Limited Edition Collector’s Cover”:
What are some of your favorite versions or moments of the Joker? Heath Ledger’s Joker was lauded for his departure from the brightly-colored, cartoony Jokers that had been done in the past. Yet, it’s just that juxtaposition of a ‘sick’ sense of humor during what adds up to actual, literal violence that created one of the most-copied criminal archetypes we all know, the homicidal maniac. Here’s a little more about a couple of my favorite Jokers.
Jack Nicholson’s Sick Sense of Humor
Sure, Tim Burton’s Batman looks a bit dated 25-some years later. But you’ve got to give him credit for having and realizing such a vision, and for making some unexpected casting choices. It’s not the scenes in which Nicholson is prancing around flamboyantly in a purple suit. It’s not even when he’s frying one of his mob associates during a “business” meeting using a joy buzzer. It’s partly after this, that, while giving one of his henchman orders, that he takes time out to do a hilarious imitation of Jack Palance, who’s character he’s recently killed. But really, it’s at the end of this scene, when Nicholson has a “conversation” with his fellow mobster’s still-smoking corpse. The Joker feigns leniency toward the remaining mobsters, but he imagines that his deceased associate surprisingly advises him to “grease ’em now”.
Mark Hamill’s Method
One of my other favorite Joker performances is Mark Hamill’s voice acting. Best-known as Luke Skywalker, of course Hamill also has done plenty of voice acting for animation and video games. In particular I like his work in World’s Finest, a three-series arc from the excellent Superman: the Animated Series from producer Bruce Timm, in which the Joker takes on not only Batman, but Superman too. At one point the Joker gains the upper hand and takes control of one of Lex Luthor’s toys, a giant wing-shaped aircraft. And he’s going to use it to blow up Metropolis (I believe). But not before he takes time out to give it a new paint job so it looks like a giant smile. And Joker looks right into the camera and shouts at us “I always customize all of my stuff!” and laughs maniacally. Here’s 5 minutes on how Mark Hamill does the Joker.
Suicide Squad is expected to release on August 5, 2016.