The Joker

As we reported yesterday, director David Ayer tweeted a photo of the ‘Suicide Squad’ cast from a recent script read through. Most of the cast, anyway. Conspicuously absent from that photo was Jared Leto, who will be making his DC Cinematic Universe debut in that film as the Joker. Well, it seems Ayer has taken it upon himself to make up for that, as he followed that tweet with one containing a photo of Leto emulating the Joker’s pose from Brian Bolland’s iconic cover to ‘The Killing Joke.’

While Leto has posted a number of photos to his own social media accounts documenting the physical transformations he has undergone for the role (shaving his beard and cutting his hair, for example), we have yet to see him in full makeup, though this image could be seen as taking us one step closer to Leto going “full Joker.” Additionally, Ayer’s tweet and the degree to which it emulates Bolland’s classic cover could be a hint at the degree to which ‘The Killing Joke’ is influencing this interpretation of the Joker. While that story is commonly cited as an influence on different versions of the Joker (a list that notably includes Heath Ledger’s portrayal in ‘The Dark Knight’), it should be noted that citing ‘The Killing Joke’ as an influence is less about using it as a roadmap to a particular take on the character and more about the way the story simultaneously presents a possible origin story (even the Joker himself, in the context of the narrative, admits a degree of uncertainty about his own history) and what is arguably a portrait of the Joker at his most cruel and sadistic, as all off that combines with his insistence that “one bad day” is all that truly separates him from the likes of Commissioner Gordon and Batman provides a rich psychological portrait of a character who could easily be written as a one-note megalomaniac.

Jared Leto recreates Joker image

In addition to Leto, ‘Suicide Squad’ will feature Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Cara Delevingne, Jai Courtney and Adewale Akinnuoya-Agbaje, among others. Following the planned March release of ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,’ ‘Suicide Squad’ is set to bookend next summer with DC films when it hits theaters on August 5, 2016.