Alright, losers. Get all the Hot Topic jokes out of your system, because once we start in with some serious discussion here I’M NOT GONNA BE TAKING ANY CRAP! Anyway, a lot of stuff happened this last week. People died, people were born. Burger King started selling burgers at breakfast, and Bernie Sanders announced that he was running for president. More important than all of this, however, is that director David Ayer gave the world its (almost) first look at Jared Leto’s Joker, who will make his debut in 2016’s Suicide Squad. Take a look after the jump.
Jack Nicholson’s and Heath Ledger’s portrayals of the Joker were pretty different from each other, so of course people are excited to see where Jared Leto is going to take his version of the character. But juding from what I’ve been reading online, much of that excitement turned into your typical internet snark after people saw this.
— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) April 25, 2015
Now, if I’m going to be honest here, I like everything I’m seeing EXCEPT for the tattoos. I know a lot of people are in a tizzy over the fact that DC seems to be taking a darker turn with its cinematic universe. I’m not one of those people. If the Joker has that grill because Batman punched his teeth in, no one will be cheering louder than me. But even I have my limits. Joker skulls and HAHAHAHAs and playing cards and big toothy smiles are a little too on the nose for me, and apparently a lot of other people. If brevity is the soul of wit, HAHAHA tattoos on the Joker are the soul of okay okay we get it already.
Since the pic dropped, there’s been a very vocal minority saying that it’s actually not what the Joker will look like in the film. They say that Ayer’s tweet was meant to commemorate the Joker’s 75th anniversary (the Joker made his first appearance in Batman #1 on April 25th, 1940). They go on to point out pictures that have leaked from the set showing Leto sans tattoos, and a couple of industry “insiders” have popped out of the woodwork on Twitter to support this.
So far, it’s been pretty easy to ignore all of this. Leto isn’t in full makeup in the pictures we’ve seen of him out and about, and the pics of him in makeup are saturated or blurry. But the conspiracy theorists are digging in their heels on this one. This picture popped up a few days ago, which shows the jpeg artifacting on the original Joker pic. Note all the white where his tattoos are. Supposedly, this suggests that the tattoos weren’t a part of the original image, and were perhaps photoshopped on before the picture was sent out into the world. A world that hates and fears it. I don’t know. I’m not a tech guy. You could tell me that all the white areas are where Leto’s soul is trying to break out, and I’d probably believe you.
Anyway. In the end, who the hell knows what the Joker will look like? I don’t know why Ayer would bother with all the misdirection, but then again, how long did JJ Abrams tell people that Benedict Cumberbatch wasn’t playing Kahn in Star Trek Into Darkness? All I can say is that, if what we’re seeing now isn’t what we’ll end up seeing on-screen, no one reliable has come out and said so. Until then, I’ll continue to call in sick to work, read blogs I can’t trust and tweets from people who kind of get on my nerves until I can get to the bottom of this, because that’s what grown men with with actual responsibilities do.