Joker Thin White Duke

There often seems to be a cloak of ambivalence surrounding every piece of news that comes out of DC’s burgeoning cinematic universe, one announcement that has earned an unambiguously positive response was the casting of Jared Leto as the Joker. But for all the confidence his casting has inspired, his predecessors’ performances are often described as iconic. This, naturally, only leaves fans wondering what Leto will bring to the role.

Eager fans have, however been getting piece meal previews through social media, often from Leto’s own accounts. Most significantly, Leto has posted pictures that show him first cutting and later bleaching his hair in preparation for filming. But more tangible than that is a Vine that was shot by a fan at a recent 30 Seconds to Mars concert. In the video, Leto introduces a song and in the process slips from his speaking voice into one that is, to say the least, evocative of the Clown Prince of Crime. See the video for yourself:

Assuming for the sake of argument that Leto does use this voice or one like it as the Joker, he will have at a minimum accomplished one of the most important tasks when playing a character like this: he will have made the role his own. When you stop to consider not only the cultural pervasiveness of the Joker but also the titanic shoes into which Leto is stepping, that is no mean feat. Indeed, if you ask any Batman fan to give you their best Joker voice, the odds are good that they’ll give you something resembling either Heath Ledger or Mark Hamill. Those two actors in particular have cast such long shadows over the role that the comparisons are inevitable. And this is especially true when it comes to the vocal performances. By way of example, one couldn’t help but feel sorry for John DiMaggio, who voiced Joker in ‘Batman: Under the Red Hood.’ For all DiMaggio’s skill as a voice actor, evaluations of his performance often boil down to saying that “he’s good, but he’s no Mark Hamill.”

Jared Leto will make his first appearance as the Joker in ‘Suicide Squad.’ The movie is scheduled to film this summer in Toronto for an August 5, 2016 release.