If you’re having a hard time keeping track of the various Joker films in production, maybe this will help: there’s Joker, with Joaquin Phoenix as the Clown Prince of Crime; the Joker and Harley Quinn movie, starring Jared Leto and Margot Robbie, where the pair kidnap Dr. Phil; a Joker solo adventure with Leto; and Suicide Squad 2 featuring… Jared Leto. (That did not help.)
But back before the world was crawling with Jokers, when the character had only been played by Heath Ledger and Mark Hamill and Jack Nicholson and Cesar Romero and… (simpler times), there was the original Suicide Squad. Director David Ayer won’t be back for the sequel, but he did recently field questions about the much-maligned 2016 film on Twitter. When asked if the Joker’s “damaged” forehead tattoo was his idea, he replied, “Yes I have to fall on that sword. It was one step too far.” Leto was too twisted for this world.
He added, “In my mind it was meant for Batman after he smashed Joker teeth for killing Jason Todd, some people found it alienating. Originality and faithfulness to the canon are often at odds. Batman and Joker are my two favorite characters ever.” At least it was good business for Hot Topic.
Ayer also discussed the differences between the theatrical cut and his vision (cue the petition). In response to a follower wondering whether the Suicide Squad, and in particular Harley Quinn, loves or hates each other, he wrote, “Two different characters. Harley’s arc was vastly simplified. It’s fun to play ‘gotcha’ but remember released film was very different from original assembly.”
As for the Leto-less Joker movie:
Suicide Squad 2 comes out… eventually, but probably after Birds of Prey.