Jared Leto’s Joker had a lot of potentials and still has. One thing is for sure. The Joker’s first debut in the DCEU was polarizing. Now with Jared Leto teasing another appearance as the Joker on Social Media (possible in The Batman or Gotham Sirens), we have to ask, should we be happy?
The idea behind the Joker in the DCEU was good. Instead of having Joker just be this force of nature like he was in the Dark Knight we turn him into a legit crime boss that resembles the insanity of Gotham’s underworld. This was supposed to be a Joker that deserves the title Clown Prince Of Crime. Ironically for trying to ditch Heath Ledger’s portrayal this take of the Joker is most reminiscent in concept to Lee Bermejo’s Joker who is modeled after Ledger’s Joker.
The crime boss take might not be the take you want to see but it’s a valid take, even the tattoos can work. The Joker has a messy mind. They could have easily explained the tattoos as a map of memories for the Joker and equally as a taunt towards Batman, they failed to acknowledge something in that vein. Now fans will make the argument “They just didn’t have the time to explore the depths of Jared’s Joker, the movie was called Suicide Squad not Joker”
Fair enough, at the same time, you as the audience should question the genius who thought it’s a good idea to have a Joker that’s very complex and needs to be explored and convince the general audience to debut in a movie he has no real role in. Either you go with a very traditional Joker and give him 10 minutes of screentime, no explaining needed or you explore different and new ideas with the Joker and make him an essential part of the movie. It seems they should have just made a Joker movie. That’s the movie people wanted. People went to watch Suicide Squad for Harley Quinn and Joker. They could have done that and spin Harley off into a Suicide Squad movie. Just looking at it from a marketing perspective that would have been the better business move, it just happens that it also works on a creative level.
Now all that said, Jared Leto is a good actor and with the right writer he could do wonders, but as it currently is at WB there is no reason to have high expectations. Leto’s Joker is interesting and we should keep our minds open for his next appearance but at the same time, the Joker in this universe is almost a metaphor for the entire DCEU.
The entire Universe feels somehow faithful, it all looks pretty great, but at the same time everything feels a bit off on a character level, we have no idea where anything is going and it seems everything is a reaction to something. There seems to be no care for how it will fit into the future of the Universe or leaving cards open even if you don’t use them *cough* Jimmy Olsen *cough*. We already have continuity errors when it comes to David Ayer’s explanation for Joker’s teeth’s with the fact he already had his teeth’s beaten out when he met Harley while at the same time Harley is credited as an accomplish in the murder of Robin but Batman apparently beat the Joker’s teeth’s out for killing Robin. The DCEU is filled with great ideas and potential but nobody seems to channel it and instead it’s unleashed without much thought. You might say Geoff Johns will fix that but let’s wait and see. He has done great for the Comics in DC Rebirth but let’s not count the chickens before the eggs are hatched.
I will leave this short article with a question, can you actually imagine this Universe going on for years? However hard I try, I can’t.