I've done quite a bit of writing about Suicide Squad, mostly because of how fascinating the concept of that movie is. The fact that Warner Bros. and DC have so much faith in the whole project, that they feel comfortable enough to allow it to be the third film in their DC Cinematic Universe is just truly brave (Marvel's third MCU film was Iron Man 2).
What else is cool and slightly nerve-racking is that Joker will be making his first on-screen appearance into the DC Cinematic Universe. To think that it's not in a Batman film is just mind-blowing.
Yesterday, I posted an article about Jared Leto's "hint" at the Joker's new look for the 2016 Suicide Squad film directed by David Ayer, which you can check out here:
But what I want to talk about in this article, I want to go more in-depth with what I expect of Jared Leto and his interpretation of the Joker.
So, here are my expectations:
A Comic Book-Inspired Joker
When I say comic-book inspired, I'm not necessarily talking about how his physical portrayal or even his demeanor so much as I am his horrendous acts of violence and terror. I think that with having an older Batman who's been around for a while, it would be a good route to go with having Joker committed some of his worst crimes already, which could in part be why Batman is so "crusty" (as Zack Snyder puts it).
These acts could be any or all of the following:
The Killing Joke
The interesting thing about this storyline is that if you adapt it to the history that Batman has with the Joker, perhaps Batman never got to the Amusement Park in time to save Jim Gordon. The reason I say this is because it's rumored that Jim Gordon is already dead in the DCCU.In the Killing Joke written by Alan Moore, we see a bit of Joker's origin. But in that book, we also see just how ruthless and dangerous the Joker really is. He's shot Barbara Gordon, leaving her paralyzed and then kidnapped Jim Gordon and made him look at horrendous pictures of his daughter as she lay there wounded.
A Death in the Family
With Batman being older, there are rumors that Jenna Malone will portraying Carrie Kelly, the Robin that was featured in Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns which is supposed to be a heavy influence in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. If you look at that storyline though, you'll see that Batman is still very grief-(or guilt-) stricken by the death of Jason Todd, the second Robin, by the hands of Joker and his crowbar.
These are just a few of the horrible acts of the Joker, I think that his notoriety should be enough to make anyone fearful of being around him, whether he's behind bars or not.
A Fresh New Take
The men who have played the Joker have all been iconic for their time. Even going as far back as the 1966 Batman tv series.
Obviously, Romero wasn't as nearly frightening as the later interpretations, but right from the start, the character was made a pop culture icon. I really think, as campy as the '66 Batman might have been, if we wouldn't have had these shows, Batman would not have been as famous and his stories and characters (allies and enemies alike) would not have grown the way they have today.
He was just whacky, mischievous crook with an absurd persona. He didn't really bring terror into the hearts of audiences, but then again, he wasn't supposed to, the era of this Batman was not ready for what what would eventually come along.
Now let's take a look at Jack Nicholson's Joker in the 1989 (hey I was born that year) film Batman.
To this day, there are those fans out there who still prefer this Joker because of much different it was for many fans to see him portrayed this way.
What's interesting to note is that Tim Burton never read any Batman books prior to making the '89 film. So, he probably was more than thrilled to allow Jack Nicholson to add his own touch of crazy to the character.
But I think that's why I don't prefer Nicholson over Ledger when it comes to Joker's live-action persona: Nicholson merely felt like he was just being himself in some weird way. I've always said, as much as I love Jack Nicholson's Joker, it felt like it was merely Jack Nicholson being Jack Nicholson.
Then there was The Dark Knight, one of the defining movies for its genre. It was brilliant film-making and of course, Heath Ledger's Joker was astounding to watch (and still is to this day).
What was it though? What made Heath Ledger's Joker so amazing?He didn't simply play himself as the Joker, he did tons and tons of research and went above and beyond in his preparation for the role (probably a little too much).
But when you see Heath Ledger's performance of Joker on screen, you can't even tell it's him. He's very much his own character and the fact that, even though he took some small inspiration from the comics, there really hasn't been a Joker like the one we got in The Dark Knight.
So, I've said all that to say that I hope Jared Leto goes all out on what he wants and what David Ayer wants for their version of the Joker. There should be no hesitation in just letting the character loose. Fans should understand that this isn't the Heath Ledger Joker and we it would be wrong and unfair to anticipate or expect such a character reappear. I just want Leto to make it his own and join the small group of iconic Joker performances.
A Fearful Presence
Jack Nicholson's Joker was creepy, but once again, that was probably because Jack Nicholson naturally seems like a creepy dude. Heath Ledger's performance was very creepy, but we only got one movie with that character in the entire trilogy.
I want Jared Leto's Joker to be just as creepy as he can be. I mean, he needs to be so scary that when he comes on screen, the audience should squirm in their seats, not knowing when he his going to make his move and do something terrifying.
This is especially true if we will be seeing more of him on screen than we previously have before. We don't need to get bored with Jared Leto's Joker, we should love every scene he is in.
I've spoken about how I feel his role should/might be handled in the Suicide Squad movie, check it out real quick:
Notorious in the DCCU
There were rumors that Superman would know of Joker in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, even though they'll never meet and the audiences will never see him. But I think this is great, Joker needs a reputation of being a horrifying, mass-murdering, psychotic Clown Prince of Crime.
I'm not saying there needs to be a cameo or a "wink-wink" at the camera in every DCCU movie, but where it's relevant for him to be mentioned, it should have weight to it; not just a fleeting comment to let the audience know that Joker is still around.
Well, there it is, my expectations of how the Joker should be treated in the DC Cinematic Universe. I hope that all these things come to pass and we get a role just as iconic as Heath Ledger's (although that's hard to expect).
What are your guys' expectations of Joker in the DC Cinematic Universe? Sound off with your thoughts below and don't forget to vote in the poll.