Put down everything you’re doing, you’re not gonna wanna miss this one. There’s been a whole lot of back and forth recently about the nature of Jared Leto and what his decision of ultimate villain The Joker will be like in the upcoming DC universe building block Suicide Squad. As much as David Ayer‘s superhero flick is more than capable of keeping interest afloat until it’s release, a solid percentage of discussion has been focused on Jared Leto. Well, all that speculation can end, since director Ayer has been enough to provide us with a straight up, no nonsense still of Leto in full Joker attire. Or no attire, as the case may be.
Screenrant and everyone else on the planet has reported today that the image was made available via Ayer’s Twitter account, stating that it was in honour of Mr J’s anniversary. The result is by no means understated. Have a look at the shot below:
In case your computer won’t let you see it, we’ve got a short-haired metal-toothed shirtless tattoo-laden Joker on our hands. I won’t sugar-coat it, it’s a bold-ass move. There have been comments that the tattoos are a little tongue in cheek, using grins and hahas all over the place, not to mention a J on the cheek and “damaged” scrawled across his forehead. As on the nose as they may be, they certainly suit the look and make a stronger case for the Prince of Crime having a long prosperous career in Gotham’s criminal underbelly. Could those metal teeth be the result of savage beatings or self mutilation. There is of course one purple glove to hark back to the Clown’s classic era three piece suit. Is this a look that exists in this universe or is it just a farewell to old ways. Oh wait, is that a latex glove?
We’ve had a few nibbles in the joker pond leading up to this. After the cast photo for Suicide Squad was released sans Jared Leto, we got a greenhaired shot with a camera in homage to Alan Moore‘s joker tale Killing Joke (this latest picture pose certainly makes winks know that direction), as well as a shot with crude lipstick. But there isn’t a trace of red lips in this final version, making for a grittier, balls to the wall Joker. And after seeing Ben Affleck‘s tale on Batman in the Batman v Superman trailer, it certainly looks as though the two could have some perfectly wonderful adventures together.
This is of course the only shot of a cast member in full costume we’ve seen so far. Are the other criminals going to be more modestly dressed since they’ll be carrying out covert government work? Or will Margot Robbie be sporting a similar mad look as Harley Quinn? We can’t be sure yet, but it’s sage to say that Jared Leto will be bringing plenty of madness to the table. But will the Squad be able to keep up?
We’ve got a long way to go before the Suicide Squad is unleashed on cinemas, and a lot of reveals between here and there. Let’s just hope DC hasn’t blown their load too soon.
We were talking yesterday about finally getting a look at Jamie Bell‘s The Thing in Fantastic Four, putting a nice ribbon around a fairly humble media frenzy. You would think that the main outcome of this reveal would just be a little added comfort and anticipation about a mysterious Marvel reboot. But it seems as though a mini Renaissance has been sparked and solo characters from big comic book movie are being revealed all over the place. Instead of making you click on four separate links to four different reveals, we thought we’d stick them all on one list so you could look at them all together… Because we’re classy. So let’s go through some character reveals from Xmen: Apocalypse, Ann-Marie, Suicide Squad AND Avengers: Age of Ultron. Check them out!
Let’s start with Xmen because, to be honest, it’s probably not the reveal you were looking for. We’d all love a gander at Apocalypse, but this artwork for Angel is plenty exciting. Ben Hardy was recently revealed to be playing the winged mutant, but we had no confirmation about which design they were going to use for his wings. Would they use feathers or a metallic design used in some comic incarnations? Well, they went metallic, and it looks pretty damn badass. Check it is below, courtesy of Empire:
Granted this is just artwork, but it definitely bodes well for the rest of the team and the costumes they’ll be rocking. Hopefully we’ll get a look at some real costumes very soon.
Next we have Ant-Man, which has gone somewhat covert since its big trailer reveal all those months ago. It’s been hard for the super shrunken first timer to take precedent with big time Marvel sequels cropping up at the same time, but they’ve played it cool and waited for the optimum moment to give us a look at Yellow Jacket, the much discussed villain and anti-Ant Man. Have a look below and see what you think, courtesy of The Wrap:
It’s good to see that they’ve included the mechanical arms in the shot. Is it me or does he look a smudge too Iron Man-ish? Not that that’s a bad thing of course. He definitely looks more monstrous than anticipated, which is definitely exciting to see. Hopefully we’ll be seeing to two fight it out before long.
Let’s move on to Suicide Squad. You’ll recall we got a group Twitter shot of the cast of the DC movie with director David Ayer doing a read through. Awesome? You bet, but there was one question on everyone’s lips: where’s Jared Leto? Where’s The Joker? Well sometimes questions get answered and we got a shot of Leto replicating the classic Joker image from the cover or acclaimed Alan Moore graphic novel Killing Joke. Have a look, fresh from Slashfilm:
I think he nailed it! It would have been great to see Leto in full garb, but it’s enough to see him with his bright green crew cut. It looks as though they’re having fun with the role which can only be a good thing. They wouldn’t give the Joker a camera in Askham Asylum though would they? Maybe he was the one taking the group photo.
Aaaaaaaaand the final movie on our list is Avengers: Age of Ultron. Out of all the movies on the list, Avengers 2 has definitely gotten the most press and had the biggest trailer haul. But that still wasn’t enough when we knew that Paul Bettany would be playing caped android The Vision. Well now we have a good look at the man-bot. Hot out of the Marvel Movie News oven:
Yes! It’s a hexagonal design, we haven’t seen one of those since Man of Steel. Despite the undeniably human eyes, Vision is looking pretty much perfect when you compare him to the comics. If they’re staying this faithful to the canon, will we be seeing Vision getting romantic with Scarlet Witch? Oh that happened… I think.
Well there you have it, a veritable possy of comic characters we’ve been dying to see over the last few months. Can we watch the films now?
You know what’s great about an article that has an open ended question as the title? You are garuanteed to not get a definite answer about anything out of anyone. It will be more of a speculative, philosophical waxing that pumps out so many theories that you close the window of your laptop at the end of it and feel more confused than you were when you started. So more often than not we tend to stay away from blatant rumours that have no basis here, unless we have a little something to go on. Or if it’s super intriguing. The potential for a physical description of the joker in the upcoming comic book movie Suicide Squad is a little of both.
Since getting word that Jared Leto would be playing the Joker in David Ayer’s villain team up, we’ve been hearing that the Dallas Buyers Club star would be losing his legendary locks for the role. It’s been a while and still no hair job, but Leto mentioned that his presentation of an award at the Oscars would be a “farewell party for his hair”. Not only that, but Leto came out on stage with a considerable amount of poundage on him compared to his Oscar winning role last year. Turns out the actor who is no stranger to augmenting his body for a role has put on 70 pounds for his part as the joker. So we’ve got short hair and bulk, which would be a huge change from what we’re used to seeing from cinematic representations of the Joker. Both Jack Nicholson’s and Heath Ledger’s portrayals of Batman’s nemesis have been violent and brutally theatrical, but not quite so physically dominant. So it looks as though Suicide Squad is set to change all that.
When the cast list for Suicide Squad dropped late last year, one of the actor choices that has sparked the most chatter is Jared Leto for the role of Batman’s biggest villain property the Joker. The big surprise about the choice of Leto is that the majority of the cast are action or mainstream vets (include list here) while Leto himself was hot off an Oscar win with a pocketful of indie roles before that. With such an elevated status, everyone wants to know how Leto is going to play the clown Prince of Crime, and to what era of the batman canon will he be most closely aligned.
We’re gonna leave it there for the moment because very soon the ratio of news to guesses is gonna spin wildly out of control. But if you’d like a visual representation of what Leto’s Joker feels like to us – and why wouldn’t you? – check out the incarnation of the Joker from the graphic novel Batman:RIP.
Oh, and if he ends up looking exactly like this, I’m taking credit.
It goes without saying that everyone got a serious kick out of the news that Suicide Squad had a confirmed cast. The two biggest surprises to come out of it were the affirmation of Jared Leto as The Joker, and Will Smith‘s name being tossed into the mix as Deadshot. There’s no denying that a superhero team-up is a crowd-pleaser, especially since Guardians of the Galaxy proved that we don’t need to know the team members to fall in love with them. Add the fact that these are all villains, including Harley Quinn and The Joker!? How could we not get excited?
But now that we’ve had a few hours to calm down and all the glitzy dust has settled, maybe we should take a moment to think about how reliable a line-up of actors DC has put together for us.
First, we’ve got Will Smith. One of the most successful, well-known actors around. It might be argued that Smith has gone a little off the deep-end recently and might be looking to change his image with a DC picture. That might be true, except for the fact that he doesn’t need to change his image. Men in Black 3 grossed $624 million worldwide. 70% on Rotten Tomatoes. Positive responses from critics. Granted, After Earth was mostly a write-off and Focus looks just plain dull, but so what? Clearly the man can still make what he wants and be a hit. Not to mention the fact that he could potentially come back for Independence Day 2 and already has a serious drama in the works with Concussion, an exploration of head trauma in the NFL, due out in 2016. So why Suicide Squad?
The obvious answer is because he likes the part and likes the script. But Smith doesn’t just have to like something and go along with it. If something doesn’t sit right with him, he’ll try and change it. Let’s not forget that he lost out to Jamie Foxx for the lead in Django Unchained because he wanted to shoot the bad guy instead of Christoph Waltz’s character. And this has got me worried. If Smith took this role, it could very well mean that the script was just the way he wanted it, or it was changed to suit him. This is all complete conjecture of course, but could still be bad news. There’s also the question of whether or not he has a contract to appear in other DC films.
But back to the other cast members. Tom Hardy is a dependable choice, given his history with DC (Dark Knight Rises) and his uncanny ability to augment his body shape seemingly at will. As for Jai Courtney, he’ll draw a modest tween audience thanks to the Divergent series if all goes well and will potentially make waves with Terminator: Genisys and add to the already considerable hype. Margot Robbie is starring in Focus alongside Smith, but her role in Wolf of Wall Street is most likely why she’s been given Harley Quinn to make her own. As for Cara Delevingne, she’s been popping her head in the door in a lot of big films recently, including Anna Karenina and the upcoming Pan. And if Aidan Gillen lands Deathstroke, he’s got his Game of Thrones gusto to call on.
And then we have Jared Leto. Between Requiem for a Dream in 2000 and last year’s Dallas Buyers Club, Leto’s acting contributions could easily have been missed if you didn’t know where to look. Two years ago he could very well have been groomed by Marvel as the star of a property all to himself, given his respectable dramatic chops and the kind of Everyman handsome face that pretty much any major superhero can be copy and pasted onto.
And it doesn’t matter that he has an Oscar. If you look at Leto’s track record, you get the impression that his acting trajectory is very much down to the projects he likes, instead of the parts he thinks would make him more successful. Now that he has Best Supporting Actor under his belt I don’t see that changing. Don’t forget that Ledger had a nomination for Brokeback Mountain before he was cast for The Dark Knight , so that’s not the issue.
But if you look at the kind of film The Dark Knight was, and the kind of work that Leto has done in the past, you could start to think that DC are going to stick with their plan to keep things dark and serious. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. Do all superhero movies need to follow the colourful, fun-loving Marvel template? Not necessarily. It’s not so much about following the herd as it is drawing on experience and knowing what works in the long term.
Let’s just have a quick side-by-side comparison with Marvel. Now don’t get antsy, I know they aren’t the same and they can put their universes together in different ways. But we have to consider that DC is starting on the back foot and it’s already trying to catch up with Marvel in terms of output. Just take a look at the line-up of films to come out of both studios over the next few years:
From 2015 onward, we already have word of 23 Marvel properties and 15 DC properties. That seems unbalanced, but if you take away all of the Marvel films that will be released outside of the Marvel Studio system by Fox, Sony and Disney, that leaves Marvel Studios with 9 upcoming films against DC/ Warner Bros.’ 15. So it’s safe to say that DC have come to play, and they’re looking to take up as much space on the calendar as possible. That’s OK though, right? Marvel can’t “own” making good superhero movies can they? Of course not, but here’s the problem: DC simply hasn’t got the foundations for this kind of consistent turnout yet.
By the time we hit 2015, Marvel Studios will have released ten blockbuster productions, all successful, all awaiting sequels (apart from Iron man that already has two and Hulk). By the time the predicted line-up is finished, Marvel Studios’ number of productions will be more than twice as large. And that’s just in the current continuity.
DC has one: Man of Steel.
Now DC has a whole archive of successful films: the original batman series, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Christopher Reeves’ Superman, Watchmen – almost all of them produced by Warner Bros. Their ability to make good films is not in question. But they’ve never had to worry about tying them all together before. No one was telling Tim Burton to make Michael Keaton less self-reliant in case he needed to get involved with the Justice League…although that might explain what happened with Batman Forever . The truth is Marvel has been perfecting for the last six years what DC only started putting into effect a year ago.
I agree that I might be spoiling the party for everyone by saying it’s gonna suck before we even get there. Suicide Squad could be amazing – it’s got enough acting talent to do it. The only question is whether the choice of actors, the choice of tone and the Jenga tower of a movie multiverse are going to play well together when the time comes. Hopefully they will.
There’s been a whole bunch of reports over the last few months on who’s going to be filling the roster for David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. Names like Jared Leto for the Joker have been appearing and disappearing with very little sticking power. but now we have a solid cast list from Warner Bros. for the members of the DC Universe’s government funded villain branch.
So here’s the list, laid out nice and simple-like:
Jared Leto – The Joker
Will Smith – Deadshot
Tom Hardy – Rick Flagg
Margot Robbie – Harley Quinn
Jai Courtney – Boomerange
Cara Delevingne – Enchantress
This is a very intriguing list and I’ll tell you why: of the latest incarnation of the Suicide Squad – titled the New Suicide Squad in the series that started its run earlier this year – only Deadshot and Harley Quinn appear in the film line-up. Hardy’s character Rick Flag could refer to three different characters, a grandfather, father and son with the same name. Flag had a concrete member of the Squad up until 2011.
Boomerange is referred to as Captain Boomerang in the comics, so this may have been altered to sound less like a character in a kid’s TV show – either that or there were legal issues with the name. Enchantress is another long-running character, but has magical powers so it’ll be interesting to see how they broach that subject or work around it.
The most interesting name on the list is The Joker. I was originally very sceptical when Leto was named as a potential cast member, since the clown prince of crime has never really been directly affiliated with the Squad. The Joker’s daughter did enter the line-up in 2014 to join his on-again off-again girlfriend Harley Quinn. It’ll be exciting to see how Leto takes the mantle from Heath Ledger atfer his portrayal in The Dark Knight.
David Ayer is writing as well as directing the film for Warner Bros., with Zack Snyder (who’d have thought it?), Deborah Snyder, Colin Wilson and Geoff Johns on hand as executive producers. Shooting will take place in Toronto.
It’ll be along wait before Suicide Squad arrives on our screens, but it’s not like we don’t have a bundle of Marvel and DC films to keep us limber until 2016.
What do you think of the lineup? Who’s depiction can you not wait to see?