Suicide Squad Director Reveals His 1 Regret About Leto’s Joker Design

Mar 18, 2023

Suicide Squad generated a lot of controversy in 2016 with Jared Leto’s edgy Joker design, and the movie’s director, David Ayer, reveals what is the one regret he has about the Batman villain’s infamous look. Leto’s Joker had the hard task of following Heath Ledger’s pitch perfect performance as the villain in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Because of that, Suicide Squad’s departure from how the character normally looks instantly inspired negativity from DC diehards, and Ayer is now sharing one thing he regrets about his movie’s Joker design.

Ayer revealed on Twitter that his one Joker design regret from Suicide Squad was the “Damaged” forehead tattoo.

Following a recent update on the Suicide Squad Ayer Cut, the director notes that the Joker’s forehead tattoo “caught a lot of smoke,” and was the choice he wished to had never made. Leto’s Joker looked aesthetically very different from other live-action Jokers, with the two more notable before him, Jack Nicholson and Ledger, going for a comic-book look, while Leto’s Joker departed from the character’s classic design, including many tattoos, grills, and other aesthetic choices.

Related: Every Difference in Suicide Squad’s Extended Cut

Why Suicide Squad’s Jared Leto Joker Failed

Leto’s Joker was clearly a departure from Ledger’s take on the Clown Prince of Crime that audiences had loved in 2008’s The Dark Knight. The job of following up such a career-defining performance would be daunting to anyone, with Ledger’s The Dark Knight Joker netting him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. One of the big problems behind the poor audience reception that Leto’s Joker in Suicide Squad encountered was undoubtedly connected to the comparison to what came before, but the problems did not stop there.

While the design choices Ayer made for Leto’s Joker received a lot of backlash from fans, the character itself could not be properly judged by his time in the movie. Leto’s Joker was heavily advertised during the promotion for Suicide Squad’s release, but the villain ended up having a very small role in the movie. The version of Suicide Squad that was released in theaters saw reshoots change Joker and Harley Quinn’s relationship, along with other seismic differences from what the director had initially planned. All of that was due to how DC’s parent studio, Warner Bros., decided to overtake Suicide Squad.

Leading up to the release of the movie, excitement was high for Suicide Squad and Leto’s take on the Joker, but the trailers for the film presented a different tone than what Ayer’s work really captured. As there was a lot of positive talk surrounding the movie’s trailers, the studio opted to creatively overhaul the darker, moody film, and try to transform Suicide Squad into the funnier version the trailers presented. The result was not great, and Leto’s Joker tattoos in Suicide Squad were ultimately the movie’s smallest problem, as the Joker had his role severely reduced, and other important elements were cut altogether.

Next: The Suicide Squad: Why Jared Leto’s Joker Didn’t Return For The Sequel

Source: David Ayer/Twitter

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