Yesterday, director David Ayer shared a group photo of the impressive cast of his upcoming supervillain team up, Suicide Squad, getting ready for a read through. There was, however, one key piece missing. Jared Leto’s Joker was nowhere to be found, something many fans noted. Ayer has now revealed a photo showing the absent psychopath, and it will look very familiar to comic book fans.
The photo of Leto is an obvious homage to the cover of Batman: The Killing Joke, and shows the actor holding a camera, pointing it directly at you. He’s missing the maniac smile of the original artwork, but there’s still an air of menace to the image, even if he doesn’t look straight up insane. You’ll also notice that Leto’s hair, which has been seen a number of times recently bleached near white, has finally been dyed the supervillain’s traditional green.
Check out the cover and compare the two for yourself.
The 1988 one-shot graphic novel was written by comic legend Alan Moore, with art by Brian Bolland. In the story, the Joker attempts to drive Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon insane, but the foreground action is also intercut with flashbacks of the Joker before, well, before he becomes the Joker. Killing Joke also presents Batman and his nemesis as mirror images of each other. Both suffer a jarring trauma, and how they deal with it defines them as the men they become, putting them on a collision course. It’s doubtful this has much bearing on Suicide Squad, but it’s one of the most iconic images of the character.
As Suicide Squad gets closer and closer to production, Jared Leto has gradually been transforming into his iconic character. We’ve seen his hair, heard a tease of what could be his voice, and the other day he shared this photo of himself in the makeup room of the Toronto-based set, and he certainly has the pasty pallor we’ve all come to expect.
Originally created in 1959, Suicide Squad is a team of incarcerated supervillains who do black ops style jobs for the government in exchange for commuted sentences. In this iteration, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) supervises them, and the crew includes Leto’s Joker, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Enchantress (Cara Delevigne), Plastique (Karen Fukuhara), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman), and new additions Ike Barinholtz, Adam Beach, and Jim Parrack.
Production on Suicide Squad is ramping up, and the film is scheduled to hit theaters on August 5, 2016.