When the very first image of Jared Leto as The Joker in Suicide Squad hit the web, the reaction was decidedly mixed. While some loved the more grimy, gangster-like visage that had been attributed to the ever-popular Batman villain, many others were put off the by tattoos and the gold teeth and felt director David Ayer and co. should have attempted to steer closer to the character’s classic comic appearance.
In a new interview with Yahoo!, Ayer explains why he decided to update the Clown Prince of Crime’s look, and reveals where he went for inspiration. He also suggests that his divisive body art isn’t just for show, and those tats actually tell a story.
A lot of it has to do with creating a character with some kind of history and footprint in our world. And not have this sacrosanct being outside of our continuum, our reality. If a guy like him really existed today, where would he come from? How would he do business? Who would he know? What would he look like? In my mind, I took a lot of inspiration from drug lords on Instagram. It’s a great way to understand the lifestyle of a villain.
The tattoos tell a very specific story, and eventually people will decipher them and understand what’s going on, but obviously they’re contentious, any time you do something new it’s contentious. There’s very specific stories and easter eggs in those tattoos. And even his teeth, there’s an entire story behind that which is absolutely canon. It’s putting his history on his body. This Joker is a little more working class, who I believe could live in our world.
Many fans have speculated that Mr. J may be sporting gold because Batman knocked his teeth out after discovered that he murdered Robin, and from Ayer’s comments it sounds like there might well be something to that.
Tell us, are you happy with The Joker’s updated appearance in Suicide Squad so far, or would you have preferred a more conventional look for such an iconic character? Let us know by dropping a comment below.