How Jared Leto's Joker Will Be Different From Previous Versions

Once again, we are graced with an update on Jared Leto’s upcoming role as The Joker in next year’s super-villain team-up, Suicide Squad. When one considers the shadows cast over this role from names like Jack Nicholson and the late Heath Ledger, Leto’s work is most definitely cut out for him. However, according to the latest report, the actor has no plans to phone in this deranged role with a mimicking mockery of those two great performances. His plans supposedly call for an original take on the cackling criminal that will be, amongst other things…comedic.

According to a report from Hollywood Life, which cites an anonymous source, Jared Leto Is firmly focused on making this role as Joker into a character that would become "completely his own." While the recent Instagram selfie of Leto sporting bleached shorter hair for the role seemed to be the first step in that direction, the source from the latest report implies that Leto’s is extremely focused on leaving his own unique handprint in the annals of Joker history. As the report indicates,

He wants to make the character completely his own. He knows that this role may be his most difficult ever, but he is confident that he will make his version of the Joker the best. This Joker will be more cerebral and comedic than what we have seen before, nobody should expect a copycat version. It’s going to be awesome!

And thus, with two vague words, the culture of speculation just got a curveball tossed its way. The idea of a "cerebral" version of Joker could be applied in some ways to both the narcissistic ambitions of Nicholson’s Joker from the 1989 Batman film, and certainly to Heath Ledgers’ demented nihilistic sociopath from 2008’s The Dark Knight. However, the word "comedic" is something that we’d have to consider a game-changer.

Ever since Tim Burton upped the ante on moody, Gothic-inspired darkness in the live-action Batman mythos, things haven’t strayed too far ever since. (Barring the Joel Schumacher films.) Christopher Nolan would take those serious themes and add an element of dramatic, pathological depth, which was probably epitomized by Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker in TDK. However, it has been a long, LONG time since a word like "comedic" could be applied to The Joker, specifically.

We would have to go way back to the days when Cesar Romero slathered white makeup over his mustache in his hooting howling, over-the-top (but nonetheless, iconic) portrayal of The Joker on the 1966-1968 television series. While we certainly won’t read too far into the report’s words to think that Leto will be prancing around, acting like Adam Sandler on crack, it does present an intriguing aspect to this still-mysterious rendition of the character.

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As we can see by this more recent Joker-ready Instagram, Leto’s version of the character could be going into action without his eyebrows. Is that a joke in itself? Well, his apparent vow to make the character original seems to eliminate the possibility of his Joker breaking out varying stories to tell his enemies beginning with "Do you want to know how I lost these brows?" However, it does play into the theme that seems to come with the more groomed shorter, cleaner hairstyle; notably that this Joker will have a gorgeous significant other in Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), the former therapist-turned-villainess who worships Joker so much, she essentially patterned herself after his gimmick.

In light these aspects, the famed "Mad Love" romance angle could be a potential source for the comedic aspects of Joker's persona. This is especially true when considering Harley's habitual over-attachment, which (at least, on Batman: The Animated Series,) was rarely reciprocated with the same vigor, creating regularly awkward moments between the couple. It seems that with Harley, this Joker is also extremely meticulous, which may even be a channel through which his unique form of villain dementia will manifest.

We have heard Suicide Squad director, David Ayer recently refer to Leto’s rendition of the role as "majestic." Perhaps, that adjective was far more potent than most folks may have anticipated. It could be the case that this version of the Clown Prince of Crime may end up emphasizing the "Prince" part of that common moniker. I suppose we’ll only know for sure when Suicide Squad hits theaters with "comedic" zest on August 5, 2016.