With last week being the week of trailers as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Jurassic World, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the new Fantastic Four reboot all being revealed, kickstarting this week we have our first glimpse of The Joker in the upcoming super-villain team up movie, Suicide Squad as revealed via Director David Ayer’s Twitter account.
There has been much debate amongst comic book fans regarding the character’s portrayal, especially since Heath Ledger’s performance in ‘The Dark Knight’ is highly regarded as one of the best. Many raise concerns over Leto’s capability as an actor whereas others love the new look of the Clown Prince of Crime.
In the image we can see the ‘insane’ look that this Joker is going for. With tattoos reminiscent of character traits that fans can instantly recognise such as his trademark laughing of ‘haHAha’ over the left side of his chest and arm, a large menacing smile on his right arm as well as a jester and joker cards over his left shoulder and right chest. Other tattoos are visible but can not be made out due to the pose that Leto is striking, however I think one of The Joker’s famous lines ‘Jokes on You’ may be on his right side. It is probably a safe bet that The Joker won’t be topless throughout the whole movie (or least I hope not) and at some point will sport his usual purple suit.
Other standout features are his bright green hair and Michael Jackson-esque one purple glove. Again these are classic character traits and seem to be similar to Jack Nicholson’s version in that his white skin and green hair are permanent parts of his body rather then Heath Ledger’s version were it was passed as make up and dark, sort of green, greasy hair.
It could be argued that this is possibly the most comic-book accurate representation of the Joker that we’ve seen as a classic image taken from The Killing Joke Joker shows similarities between the image we’ve been given, the prominent ‘HAHAHA’ in the background has clearly been used as inspiration towards the Suicide Squads version.
As mentioned previously, concerns over Leto’s portrayal of the character have been emerging. So let’s briefly look at how past actors have set the bar.
First to play the role (majorly) was Ceaser Romero, in the 66′ TV series (and one movie). The whole show has since been labeled as ‘campy’ and really was a children’s tv show. Nevertheless, Romero’s version was witty as he was dangerous and was visually quite disturbing. This version’s look included a purple suit, , green curly hair, white face, and a poorly hidden moustache (when up close to camera) which producers asked constantly to removed, but Romero refused. He was a light-hearted and often comic relief character and was sometime genuinely funny.
Next to play the character was Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s 1989, Batman. The film was the first to take Batman into a more dark and grittier portrayal then we’d ever seen before and could not of been further away from the bright colourful and campy 60’s version of Batman in general. This was also applied to Batman’s most famous villain, as his origin was revealed to be more intwined with the Dark Knight then ever before. Although untrue to the comics, director Tim Burton decided to add ‘Jack Napier’ responsible for the killing of Thomas and Martha Wayne in Crime Alley, in front of young Bruce, sending him down the road to become the night that he was destined to be. This version was shown to be falling into the acid and show a physical grim that doctors were unable to treat. Nicholson’s Joker was a crime boss and also featured some of his more familiar traits such as an electrifying buzzer on his hand, a darker purple suit than Romero, as well as adding depth to the character in a touching and meaningful way of getting to know the character more than just an annoyance to Batman.
Next was Heath Ledger in Christopher Nolan’s phenomenal recreation of Batman in one of the most critically acclaimed comic book films ever, The Dark Knight. This version showed us more of the spontaneous madness behind the clown as the unpredictability and general acceptance of chaos, destruction and death, generally ‘Just wanting to watch the world burn’ (as Alfred puts it). Trademarks buzzers and flowers were swapped for guns and all the explosives you can fit inside of a jacket. The purple suit remained prominent however and the crazyness was pulled of perfectly.
Suicide Squad is due for release in 2016, the same year as Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Suicide Squad includes Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and Will Smith as Deadshot, which images have not yet been revealed, but with The Joker being revealed, we can expect them to soon follow.
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