The first full look at Jared Leto’s The Joker in the 2016 superhero team-up Suicide Squad was revealed Friday evening by the film’s director, David Ayer, via Twitter.
Ayer tweeted out the picture in celebration of the 75th anniversary of The Joker’s appearance in the Batman series of comics.
Leto spoke about his take on the iconic villain, first given the Hollywood treatment by Jack Nicholson in 1989’s Batman and then again by Heath Ledger, who won a posthumous Oscar for his turn, in 2008’s The Dark Knight, in an interview with Billboard in late February. He said he was “trying to gain a lot of weight” for The Joker and had to “eat every couple of hours.”
“The opportunity to take on this nearly Shakespearean character—that’s what graphic novels and comic books are becoming, right?” Leto said of why he accepted the role. “[He’s] this beautiful disaster of a character—what a big challenge.”
His performance in Suicide Squad will be his first since winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2014 for his turn as a trans prostitute with AIDS in the drama Dallas Buyers Club, which was Leto's first film role in five years. Suicide Squad, due in theaters August 5, 2016, is based on a series of comics by Ross Andru and focuses on an all-star lineup of supervillians who are recruited by a clandestine government agency and forced to embark on dangerous missions in exchange for clemency. Along with Leto’s The Joker, the blockbuster stars Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, Cara Delevigne as Enchantress, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, and Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang. It will also feature Scott Eastwood, Common, and a rumored cameo by Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, who is first bowing in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice earlier that year.