Suicide Squad Director Is Still Defending Jared Leto’s Joker

Jared Leto in Suicide Squad

The DC Extended Universe has had a fascinating tenure in theaters, full of peaks and valleys. While Warner Bros. has found its stride over recent years, early entries like Justice League and Suicide Squad failed to connect with audiences. The latter movie was directed by David Ayer, who has been open about how studio interference altered his vision for the movie. And years later, he's still defending Jared Leto's Joker.

Coming off his Oscar win for Dallas Buyer's Club, Jared Leto seemed like a solid choice to play the Clown Prince of Crime in Suicide Squad. Leto's behavior on set and method acting dominated the news ahead of the movie's release, while the theatrical cut mostly left the Joker on the cutting room floor. David Ayer recently defended the actor on these grounds, saying:

Well, he's not wrong. Because while Jared Leto's Joker has served as fodder for countless jokes and memes at his expense, the public hasn't actually seen the full range of his work on Suicide Squad. The part was almost completely cut from the film's theatrical cut, so there's no telling what else Leto brought to the table in the villain-centric blockbuster.

David Ayer shared his thoughts over on his personal Twitter, which the filmmaker often uses to communicate with moviegoers at large. This subject is often about Suicide Squad, and the events that prevented his vision from hitting theaters. Lately there has been even more support for Ayer's version of Suicide Squad, with moviegoers calling for the director's cut to be released. And just like that #ReleaseTheAyerCut was born.

This new resurgence of excitement over David Ayer's Suicide Squad is partly due to the news about Justice League's Snyder Cut. DC fans campaigned and raised money for years, and it finally paid off. HBO Max will be pouring millions into completing the Snyder Cut, before its eventually available to stream in 2021. Given that victory, fans are hoping that The Ayer Cut get the same treatment.

David Ayer previously expressed how easy it would be to complete his version of Suicide Squad, although there's no indication that Warner Bros. plans on moving forward. After all, James Gunn's The Suicide Squad is in the can, so they may want to move forward from the original version. Still, the director's cut would greatly increase the screen time for Jared Leto's Joker.

All things considered, Jared Leto definitely got the short end of the stick with his DC debut as Joker. Because Suicide Squad eviscerated his role, Warner Bros. eventually moved forward with Joaquin Phoenix's Joker movie. Phoenix won an Oscar for his portrayal of Arthur Fleck, and there's been no indication of Leto reprising his role in the future.

James Gunn's The Suicide Squad is currently set to arrive in theaters on August 6th, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

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.