Heath Ledger’s iconic, Oscar-winning performance as Joker in The Dark Knight set the bar for Batman’s most insidious of foes so high that it would take a very brave man – or a very foolish one – to attempt to fill his shoes.
You’ve got to feel, then, for Jared Leto, who’s stepping into the role in the upcoming Suicide Squad film, based on the eponymous DC antihero team. Needless to say, when Leto’s involvement was announced, the internet went ballistic. And not in a good way.
But the internet is a fickle beast, and ever since the release of the latest Suicide Squad trailer, which offered the most in-depth look yet at Leto’s Joker, that venom has turned to feverish excitement.
The change of heart came after fans of the most recent Batman comics spotted a distinct similarity between Leto’s Joker and the Joker from the Death of the Family and Endgame comic book storylines.
The slicked back green hair matted over a burnt and scarred forehead, the thick pink gums, the raw, bloody eye sockets – Leto bears an uncanny resemblance to an iteration of the character almost universally accepted as being the darkest, cruelest and most psychopathic Joker of all time. A savage monster who does his own dirty work, massacring an entire police station full of cops with his bare hands. Yes, Leto could be taking us to Peak Joker.
Even the bloke who penned the Endgame comics, Greg Capullo, retweeted the comparison between his Joker and Leto’s.
With the film due to hit cinema screens this August, that sound you just heard was the internet having a shuddering nerdgasm.