Warner Bros. did what they needed to do and gained back a lot of good faith with fans over the weekend during their presentation in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con. They debuted the first Wonder Woman trailer and gave a surprise look at some Justice League footage. But they didn’t forget about Suicide Squad, which comes out next week. And director David Ayer even took some time to clear up a long-standing rumor about The Joker in the movie.
When the first photos of Jared Leto‘s new Joker surfaced, it was very evident that this was going to be a very different kind of Joker. Not only in the portrayal, but the actual look, which featured a ton of tattoos. One that fans latched onto was that of a dead bird on his bicep, which led to rampant speculation this had something to do with the former Robin, Jason Todd. Many went far enough to think that perhaps this version of The Joker even was Jason Todd, but in an interview with WSVN-TV at Comic-Con, Ayer finally shut that theory down. When asked what “the most ridiculous rumor” was about Suicide Squad, this is what the director had to say.
“That The Joker is Jason Todd…it ain’t the case. He’s not.”
This rumor has been circulating for more than a year and nobody at Warner Bros. has addressed the rumor point blank like this, until now. The Joker’s new look is something that has been scrutinized heavily though. The fan response had been varied, with some embracing the new look, and others making jokes about Leto’s version of the character looking like he belongs in a Hot Topic. Ayer has talked in detail about the decision to go with a new look for the character, and talked about the tattoos specifically, saying that they aren’t at all random, and that they tell a story. Here is what he had to say while talking to Yahoo! Movies.
“The tattoos tell a very specific story. And eventually people will decipher them and understand what’s going on, but obviously they’re contentious, any time you do something new it’s contentious. There’s very specific stories and easter eggs in those tattoos. And even his teeth, there’s an entire story behind that which is absolutely canon. It’s putting his history on his body. This Joker is a little more working class, who I believe could live in our world.”
The Joker is one of the most iconic and popular villains not only in comic book history, but in movie history as well. Heath Ledger’s version of the character varied wildly from anything we had seen before, but is so associated with it now, that it makes sense Ayer would want to go in a totally different direction. There have also been lots of stories surrounding just how committed Leto was to the role, going full-on method actor and sending bizarre gifts to his cast mates. The Jason Todd theory would have added another layer to the character and definitely would have been something very different. Plus the tattoos definitely lead us to believe that he and Jason Todd have a history. Not only that, but the Robin suit featured in Batman V Superman very much makes it look like The Joker may have killed one of the Robins in this universe. So, as far as fan theories go, it wasn’t that far fetched. We will have to wait and see what the connection is.
Suicide Squad is going to be the first movie in the DC Extended Universe to come out after the disappointment that was Batman V Superman, and the early buzz is good. Box office tracking is already predicting an opening of well over $100 million for the movie as well, which would help to put the Warner Bros. DC Comics movie universe back on track. The story follows a group of dangerous supervillains who are recruited by the government to carry out a very dangerous mission in exchange for leniency on their sentences. Suicide Squad opens in theaters on August 5.