So Warner Bros. has officially announced the cast of Suicide Squad, which will be the third film in DC’s cinematic universe. If you’re not familiar with the title (most aren’t), the Suicide Squad is a team made up of supervillains put together by the US government to undertake super secret black-ops missions. In exchange for their work, they’re pardoned for their crimes. The team was originally introduced in 1959, and like most superhero teams, has seen a rotating roster of characters in its various incarnations over the years.
Warner Bros. announced that this version of the team will include Jared Leto as the Joker, Will Smith as Deadshot, Tom Hardy as Rick Flagg, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, and Cara Delevinge as Enchantress. In the comics, the team is overseen by Amanda Waller, a Nick Fury-type who keeps the trains running and makes sure the bad guys don’t get too out of line. Right now, Warner is rumored to be looking at Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis, and Oprah Winfrey as potential casting choices (I’m not too sure about Oprah, but that’s another discussion). While that lineup offers a lot to be excited about, I think the most exciting piece of news is Leto being cast as the Joker. This is both great news for fans, and a pretty smart move on Warner’s part.
It’s good news for fans because Jared Leto is a great actor who commits 100% to every role he takes on. He just won an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club, and has done fantastic work in American Psycho, Requiem for a Dream, Lord of War, and how could we forget My So-Called Life? I know there are some people who aren’t going to be on board with the choice. To them, I’d ask what they thought when they heard that Heath Ledger had been cast in The Dark Knight. That’s right. And don’t you feel stupid? That’s right. Give the man a chance.
I see this as a smart move for Warner Bros. for two reasons. The first is that putting the Joker up on the big screen, especially this soon after TDK, virtually guarantees that people are going to turn out to see him. It’s a boost to a property that most people don’t know much about. The second reason is that it finally gives us a chance to see the Joker on the big screen sans Batman. We’ve seen that relationship play itself out so many times in the films and on TV, and I think this will give us a fresh look at the character. What will his relationship with Harley Quinn look like? How will he get along with a group of people he actually has to work with? If done right, the whole thing could be pretty cool. If not, I bet the cosplayers will get a kick out of it. Those people are into all sorts of weird crap.