Jared Leto’s Joker Reaction
John: I was surprised when I saw the image the first time. It was definitely disturbing so that’s in it’s favor. My first reaction was slightly negative, but I quickly realized it was because I was comparing this version to Heath Ledger’s Joker. Pulling back from that and looking at the picture again, I started to dig this take on the Joker. It’s unsettling. I would be unnerved to say the least if I ran into him in a dark alley. That’s a strange phrase now that I think about it. What wouldn’t be unsettling in a dark alley? Why would I walk into a dark alley? Anyway, I think this does a good job.
My only issue about this version was the “Ha ha” tattoos. They seem to be the same font as what you would find in comics featuring the Joker. It seemed a bit over the top. That seemed kind of jarring to me and brought me out of the believing that this was a living, breathing character. However, it’s also been rumored that the tattoos aren’t real and Leto won’t actually sport any in the movie. Who knows? At this point, a lot of this is interweb speculation and hype generation. In general, it seems pretty cool. Bring on Suicide Squad!
It’s unsettling. I would be unnerved to say the least if I ran into him in a dark alley.
Alek: I like it.
I’m inclined to just leave that as my response, but the overall furor over the picture warrants that I justify my positive opinion a bit more.
To me, the Joker represents pure chaos. He’s the oft-center counterbalance to Batman’s undying pursuit of order and the rule of law. As he’s more of a malleable concept than Batman, I really enjoy the different interpretations of Joke that have been depicted on page and on screen. He’s taken on the more jester qualities in Batman Beyond. He’s been dark and anarchistic in Heath Ledger’s version. He’s been a prankster with some dark overtones in Batman The Animated Series (shout out to Mark Hamill!).
So seeing the Jared Leto version of Joker is actually pretty cool. The manifestation of chaos these days is someone who would have tattoos all over their body…and gold grille…and crazy green hair. I always see Joker as the ultimate anarchist and this version of Joker seems to fulfill that promise. I want a Joker that is going to be freakin’ nuts. That will see the world in a way we cannot understand. As much crap as Jared Leto has received for his general “actorness”, I’m excited to see him in this role. Leto can hopefully bring a level of depth to the chaos that bubbles to the surface with this character.
As John said – Bring on Suicide Squad!