Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Jared Leto's Joker Will Be The Best Yet

Let's face it: no one is going to Suicide Squad just to see the epic saga of Captain Boomerang. The Joker is one of the biggest selling points of DC's upcoming villain-fueled film, and we've only seen a fraction of what he'll be doing on the silver screen. Unlike the spoiled appearance of Doomsday in Batman v Superman, the true breadth of The Joker will be a surprise to audiences, and that's a good thing. He's a character built on disorder and unpredictability, so we hope this successfully translates to the movie format once again. We have a feeling Jared Leto's Joker will be giving us grinning, giggling nightmares for years to come.

Ben Affleck says Leto's performance is "genius"

It may seem a little overindulgent to hear an actor compare their role to playing Hamlet, but Leto has made the lofty comparison. Rather than read this as a ridiculous statement, it seems like Leto simply takes the role incredibly seriously, and not just because fans would revolt if it's not perfect. Ben Affleck described Leto's performance to Conan as "genius." If Affleck, who supposedly wrote his own Batman movie script, gives Leto a pass, that's all we need to hear. 

That laugh

Suicide Squad's "Blitz" trailer opens with a sound clip of Leto's Joker delivering a terrifying laugh, both joyless and malevolent at the same time. Until now, it's been undeniable that Mark Hamill's shrieking, animated Joker has had the best laugh, but the creep factor of Leto has already blown us away. Hamill always treated the Joker's laugh like a musical instrument to express The Joker's manic mood; but Leto sounds like he treats the laugh as a deadly weapon, and that's really, really scary.

Different costumes

If you look beyond the tattoos and teeth, the new Joker's fashion sense says a lot about the character. Jack Nicholson's Joker mastered the dapper purple suit, and Ledger was off in his own wonderful world, but Leto's many costume changes reflect a whole range of Joker depictions that have been drawn over the years by many talented comic artists. The Joker's not a really a one-costume guy and certainly changes his looks, whether his outfit is royal robes or a suit. His new look ranges from Lil Wayne to Kid Rock-esque, but with the menacing demeanor hinted at in the trailers, it'll be great.

Unexpected choices

When Heath Ledger was cast as The Joker, hardcore fans were ready to leave Gotham faster than Nightwing, and they were all wrong. By now, it should be clear that the best Jokers are played by the least obvious actors, and baby-faced Leto was the least likely choice to play the character. People will always complain until they see the finished product. We have a feeling older Bat-fans were reluctant about the new Joker back in 1989, probably saying to themselves "Jack Nicholson's Joker will never top Cesar Romero's."

Much respect

It's frustrating to hear when an actor takes on an iconic role and refuses to read the source material, because it may influence them to act in a certain way. Fortunately, like Mark Hamill, Jared Leto has shown respect for the comics, and acknowledges the fact that The Joker is a character with a ton of history. According to CinemaBlend, Ledger kept a creepy Joker diary with pictures of hyenas and Clockwork Orange stills, and Nicholson wanted to play the role from the moment he started acting. Leto has been spotted with actual Batman comic images on his phone. IGN also reports that Leto conferred with legendary Batman writer Grant Morrison before taking on the role as well.

Method acting

According to Yibada, every moment that Leto has spent on the set has been completely in character. While this all-consuming madness may have eventually spelled disaster for Heath Ledger, it's also proving unnerving for most of Leto's co-stars, whose characters also seem to be pretty frightened of The Joker. Leto's method acting is permeating the set and making the villainous action-comedy a pretty scary place to work. Leto reportedly gave a pet rat to Margot Robbie, which in turn freaked her out. As weird as that sounds, it seems like a very Joker/Harley thing to do behind the scenes.

A product of his time

Like Batman, The Joker is always an evolving product of his time, reflecting the collective fears of the reader at any given moment he's written into a comic. When we were afraid of environmental pollution, The Joker released deadly toxins into the air and grinning fish into the water. In this age, we're afraid of atrocities committed by youths, and now The Joker dresses much younger. While many have decried Leto's outfits and tats, you can't deny that he's changing with the times.


Even before this Joker ever appears on screen, he's done damage. As implied in Batman v Superman, the Joker apparently killed Batman's trusty sidekick, Robin. Comic readers know that the same thing happens in the comics, more or less. They also know that the deceased Robin, who supposedly died in The Joker's explosion, comes back years later as a villain. Current fan theories claim that this Joker is actually Jason Todd reborn, mostly based on a glimpse of a bird wing tattoo, which would be an interesting twist for both the DC Extended Universe and Batman's ability to deal. He also has a J tatted on his face that matches the branding scar Jason Todd had in Batman: Arkham Knight. Speaking of tattoos, wouldn't getting a bunch of Joker-isms inked on your body be something someone obsessed with the character would do? Like a traumatized Jason Todd perhaps?