The DC live-action universe has had an interesting life in theaters, including a mixture of successes and missed opportunities. Warner Bros. was struggling to find its footing during the DCEU's first few installments, including David Ayer's 2016 blockbuster Suicide Squad. Despite a killer first trailer and plenty of hype, the movie failed to connect with critics and audiences alike. The filmmaker has equated this to studio interference, with plot lines like Jared Leto's Joker ending up largely on the cutting room floor. And now Ayer has confirmed one fan theory about that version of The Joker.
Jared Leto's Joker was wholly unique to previous live-action incarnations of the character. He was a modern gangster, covered in tattoos and wearing and rocking some silver teeth. One of the character's tattoos was the word "damaged" on his forehead, which becomes visible during close-ups. One fan believed this piece of ink was a reference to his past with Batman, and now Ayer has officially confirmed that as canon. Check out their social media interaction below.
Well, that's pretty cut and dry. What's more, it shows how much Suicide Squad was originally going to connect with other DCEU movies like Justice League. Because Joker's face tattoo was connected to previous events within the shared universe, possibly to be expanded in a future movie. Although Suicide Squad and Justice League's collective reception seemingly put a stop to those plans.
David Ayer's confirmation of this Suicide Squad fan theory came over on Twitter. Ayer regularly uses the social media outlet to communicate directly with fans, especially about his work on the DC villain-centric blockbuster. As such, there's still constantly new updates about Suicide Squad in the years since its release. The hits keep on coming, as it turns out that Joker's "damaged" tattoo is there simply to anger Ben Affleck's Dark Knight.
While we never saw it on screen, exposition in Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad reveal that Jared Leto's Joker had murdered a version of Robin in the DCEU. This directly related to the adventures of Batman on the page, which saw the Clown Prince of Crime kill Robin #2 aka Jason Todd. And now David Ayer has seemingly confirmed that he same story happened off screen within the shared universe.
At some point Joker (and Harley) managed to kill Robin, which apparently sent Ben Affleck's Batman into a rage. It seems that he beat Joker to a pulp, which is likely why he required a new set of chrome teeth. Jared Leto's villain then proceeded to get a new face tattoo, as a way to taunt Batman and remind him of his true viciousness and anger. Said brutally was in full effect during Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Alas, this is a dynamic that we'll never see play out. Ben Affleck has since left his role as Batman, and it's unclear if Jared Leto will ever reprise his role as The Joker. After his role was cut from Suicide Squad and Warner Bros. proceeded to produce Todd Phillips' Joker with Joaquin Phoenix as star, it doesn't seem likely. Besides, Leto has a new comic book role, playing the title character in Sony's upcoming Morbius movie.
The next installment in the DCEU is Wonder Woman 1984 on August 14th. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
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Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.