‘Suicide Squad’ Director David Ayer Has Revealed An Early Test Look At Jared Leto’s Joker

Suicide Squad director David Ayer has been especially revelatory lately, but perhaps that’s not unusual in context. After all, James Gunn is currently shooting his DC supervillain relaunch, the oddly titled The Suicide Squad, so the franchise is in the conversation already. And of course, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker origin story recently rose victorious, but that makes Ayer’s timing even more alright for a confessional mode. Possibly? Whatever the reason, Ayer recently revealed an early, more disheveled look at Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, and now, he’s here with an early wardrobe take for Jared Leto’s Joker. And it’s a little twisted in a different way.

“Early in prep a screenshot of a camera test leaked with the white tuxedo,” Ayer wrote on Instagram. “It was one of several wardrobe options tested. Ultimately I went with the black tux as it was more faithful to the source comics.”

Ayer reasons that the black tux was more appropriate, given the source material, which is an unexpected sticking point, given that Leto’s Joker was so wildly divergent from his predecessors. That’s not really a knock, for he admittedly did sort-of work out okay in the grand scheme of a movie whose “bad guys” were blob heads. Most of the movie was a gleeful mess (and possibly an intentional one), and Leto’s character has been mercilessly dragged. That’s partially because Leto had just won an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club, so people expected something that at least aspired to Heath Ledger’s The Dark Knight performance, but Phoenix nailing Arthur Fleck so tragically and majestically has amplified the pointed criticism toward Leto.

For what it’s worth, Ayer also recently defended Leto from reports that his performance led to drastically slashed screentime amid other reports that Leto tried to stop Phoenix’s Joker from being made. And it’s worth noting that James Gunn has explained why Leto probably won’t appear in his followup, although one can never totally rule out a cameo.

The Suicide Squad will arrive on August 6, 2021.