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The Joker is easily one of the most uniquely beloved comic book bad guys of all time. Several different actors have taken on the role over the years (in live-action, as well as animation), and many fans have debated over who legitimately "owns" the role. The latest performer to step into the purple suit of the Clown Prince of Crime was Oscar-winner Jared Leto, and while his performance in Suicide Squad met with mixed reviews last year, fan-favorite Joker Mark Hamill seems to be a fan. Hamill took to social media to voice his support for Leto and said:
#Respect, indeed. Though Jared Leto arguably debuted his version of the Clown Prince of Crime to a somewhat polarized response from fans, Mark Hamill seems to think (per his social media post) that Leto is a legitimately great actor who deserves credit for breaking away and trying something unique with the relatively well-worn character. He did not rehash Hamill, Jack Nicholson, or Heath Ledger, so he earns some pretty impressive bonus points for originality.
This compliment should not be taken lightly. For many fans, it goes without saying that Mark Hamill is a guy who knows The Joker inside and out. Winning the role from Tim Curry back in the 1990s, he has gone on to portray the supervillain in a wide variety of classic animated DC properties, from Batman: The Animated Series all the way through the Arkham video games and last year's release of The Killing Joke, and it doesn't look like he's stopping anytime soon. If Mark Hamill approves of Jared Leto's performance, he clearly sees some potential in the new Joker -- even if Leto eventually goes on to share the role with another Joker for the character's recently announced origin movie.
Although Jared Leto's Joker has certainly earned his fair share of detractors since his Suicide Squad debut, it is also worth remembering that he had a significantly reduced role compared to other live-action Jokers. Moreover, there's a fair argument to be made that The Joker was short-changed by not using him as the film's central antagonist. Leto himself has recently doubled down on his public commitment to the character, and with him currently gearing up to appear in Suicide Squad 2 and the Joker/Harley Quinn movie, Joker may soon have far more room to maneuver in the DCEU.
We will bring you more details related to the future of Jared Leto's Joker as new information becomes available to us. Until then, you can catch the 30 Seconds to Mars frontman in Blade Runner 2049 on October 6, and Mark Hamill will make his way back to the Star Wars franchise when The Last Jedi debuts on December 15. Beyond that, check out our 2017 movie premiere guide, as well as our 2018 movie premiere guide to see what else the next year has in store!