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The Joker is one of the most popular comic book characters of all time, which means there have been numerous interpretations of him in other media, including three live action theatrical versions. The latest actor to wear the white makeup is Jared Leto, and despite comments from his Suicide Squad costars about how method he went, many are still concerned about this incarnation of the character. Fortunately, the Dallas Buyers Club star is confident in his performance, and he’s demonstrated this by using a meme featuring two previous Clown Princes of Crime.
Here we have Jack Nicholson’s Joker from 1989’s Batman and Heath Ledger’s Joker from 2008’s The Dark Knight chipping in with some words of encouragement for their successor. No doubt many of you have seen this meme around the Interwebs, but Leto posted this picture from photographer Gaunted on his social media accounts to ease worries about his Joker in Suicide Squad. Frankly, fans being worried about the next live action Clown Prince of Crime is nothing new. There were a lot of doubts whether Ledger’s Joker would hold up to Nicholson’s between 2007-2008, and in Nicholson’s case…well, since his version was at the opposite end of the spectrum of Caesar Romero’s from the 1960s Batman TV series, there really wasn’t much to worry about.
So far, our only taste of Jared Leto’s Joker has been at the very end of the Comic-Con footage from this past summer, where he cackles and tells a victim strapped to an operating table (possibly Harley Quinn) that he won’t kill them, but just hurt them "really, really bad." Most of the criticism concerning this Joker have been about his new appearance, specifically his many tattoos and bejeweled teeth. However, if there’s one thing that’s been made clear over the last year, it’s that Leto went all in bringing this character to life in the DC Extended Universe. He described playing Joker as "giving birth out of my prick hole," and we’ve heard about his bizarre antics during the production, when he sent creepy gifts to his costars. Will Smith, who plays Deadshot, even said that he never truly met Jared Leto while filming, only ever speaking to him while they were both in character during their scenes.
While we know there will be some scenes of him causing trouble, both on his own and with Harley, Joker’s exact role in Suicide Squad is still a mystery. Footage from the set shows that at some point he’ll be captured and may even spend the majority of the movie in prison serving as a Hannibal Lecter-type figure. However, with a new solo Batman movie on the way that may adapt the Red Hood storyline, it stands to reason we’ll be seeing more of this Joker in the coming years.
Leto’s Joker will jump into action when Suicide Squad arrives in theaters on August 5, 2016.