Suicide Squad director David Ayer tweeted the first official photo of star Jared Leto in full Joker mode Friday night, finally giving fans a real look at his vision for the iconic villain — and there’s nothing funny about it.
The sneak peek commemorates more than just publicity: Ayer also timed his share to coincide with The Joker’s 75th anniversary. The character first appeared in the inaugural issue of DC Comics’ Batman series on April 25, 1940, and has undergone significant renditions in print and on film in subsequent years, most notably the late Heath Ledger‘s Oscar-winning take in Christopher Nolan‘s Dark Knight trilogy.
This updated Suicide Squad version is said to take inspiration from Alan Moore’s graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke, in which the legendary baddie is quite literally a joker, having turning his failed stand-up comedy career into a life of crime.
The haunting image showcases universal Joker characteristics, namely his signature green hair, pallid skin, red lips and maniacal persona, but Ayer takes the aesthetic a step further to also include more contemporary details like chrome-capped teeth and a blanket of tattoos.
Ayer’s caption also makes use of The Joker’s nickname, “Mr. J,” bestowed upon him by sexy sidekick Harley Quinn. It Girl Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street, Focus) will portray the femme fatale in Suicide Squad, marking Quinn’s live-action debut.
Suicide Squad is slated for theatrical release Aug. 5, 2016, and features an all-star cast including Leto, Robbie, Will Smith, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Cara Delevingne and Joel Kinnaman as a band of prison inmates recruited by the government to carry out high-stakes black ops missions. The film will mark the third installment in DC’s rebooted cinematic universe, after 2013’s Man of Steel and next year’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
What do you think of Leto’s Joker? Can anyone top Ledger’s performance? Share your thoughts in our comment section, and stick with @DishNation for the hottest Hollywood buzz!