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Although he's not a central member of the titular team, Jared Leto's Joker will factor heavily into the events of David Ayer's Suicide Squad. A villain with a strong cinematic history of his very own, The Joker has undergone a major metamorphosis as a criminal throughout his long and storied career. In order to keep the character fresh, certain changes will have to be made, and it now seems that we have a much clearer understanding of the type of criminal Joker will be when Suicide Squad hits theaters.
According to a new report from Collider, it seems that Suicide Squad's version of The Joker will take the character in a direction that we have not really seen before on the silver screen. Laying out the basic idea behind the character, it seems that Jared Leto's white-skinned criminal mastermind will take inspiration from real life criminals and find himself at the "top of the criminal underworld tree" during the events depicted in Suicide Squad. Leto's take on the character seems like he exist as a key player in the criminal underworld, rather than existing as a force of nature who opposes it.
We've already seen hints of this throughout the film's marketing campaign. Many images and trailers have shown Leto's Joker in an almost entrepreneurial light, running nightclubs of his very own and forging criminal alliances with other DC villains.
Although it might not seem like a major detail, that sort of information is incredibly important with regards to informing the nature of this new iteration of The Joker. Up until now, most silver screen incarnations of the Clown Prince of Crime have seemed more like deranged loners than active criminal masterminds. Jack Nicholson's Jack Napier essentially went insane upon becoming The Joker and stole the framework of his former mob boss' organization to conscript his henchmen. In 2008, Heath Ledger's take on The Joker maintained a very specific aversion to organized crime and opted to induct insane Arkham patients into his organization or manipulate criminals to do his bidding. It seems that he's no longer a dog chasing cars like in The Dark Knight; he's methodical, calculating and oddly political.
This all makes a great deal of sense when we consider the sort of inspiration the filmmakers looked towards when constructing this new version of The Joker. The Collider report goes on to detail how David Ayer and the members of the production modeled numerous facets of the modern Joker off of Mexican and South American cartel lords. By looking to these real life criminals for inspiration, Suicide Squad allows the Joker to have a real sense of authenticity while maintaining the brutality and flamboyance that we have come to expect from him.
We will keep you up to date regarding all of the latest and greatest Suicide Squad news as it becomes available to us. The latest DCEU adventure will blast its way into theaters on August 5.