Is Jared Leto's 'Suicide Squad' Joker Based On 'Dark Knight Returns'?


So far, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment have done a superb job of preventing spy reports and spoilers from leaking out of their upcoming movies. Zack Snyder kept a tight lid on Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, despite its insanely long principle photography shoot. Only a few set photos and vids of the new Batmobile escaped that set, yet we still know almost nothing about the movie's plot.

David Ayer's Suicide Squad is still in the midst of preproduction, but rumors are flowing a bit more freely on this one. We heard inside reports about the cast before Warner Bros. ever announced them, and we're fairly certain that the film features Joker as the main villain, double-crossing the other members of the Suicide Squad for his own purposes.

One thing we haven't heard much about is what Jared Leto's version of the Joker will be like. Jack Nicholson's Joker is an icon of twisted humor, while Heath Ledger's portrayal as a dangerous, chaos-loving punk forever changed our perceptions of what the Joker could be. So how will Leto's version set himself apart? We may have an answer today, thanks to Latino Review's Umberto Gonzalez.

On Instagram, Gonzalez says that his sources are telling him that Leto's Joker will be based on the version from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. Gonzalez describes him as "lean and scarred," with a broad-shouldered suit. Overall, we're going to see a much more muscular Joker, as he's depicted in The Dark Knight Returns, aka a man who can stand next to the other members of the Squad as a genuine physical threat.  

This depiction fits with what little we know about Batman v. Superman, and that's that it's drawing on Dark Knight Returns for inspiration. We know that Ben Affleck's Batman is an older version of the character; even his costume and emblem resemble what's used in Miller's classic. So what would a DKR Joker be like? Gonzalez says (spoilers ahead) that when Amanda Waller interrogates him in his Arkham cell, he's working out, doing handstand pushups and such. Leto is said to be bulking up for the role, so this fits as well. In Suicide Squad, Joker's backstory includes having murdered one of Batman's sidekicks — probably Jason Todd, aka the second Robin, as in the comics.  

Another big spoiler is that another major Batman villain, Hugo Strange, appears in Suicide Squad as a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum. If true, then this is a big reveal that Ayer may have been trying to keep secret until the movie arrives. We wouldn't be surprised to see an A-list actor in the role, a la Matt Damon in Interstellar. Gonzalez' full Instagram report is below.

Today's #SUICIDESQUAD FIRE is all about Jared Leto's THE JOKER! So what I'm being told, Leto's Joker is most definitely based on THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS version. He's lean & scarred but his suit does have broad shoulders. Joker works out in his cell like an inmate when he is interrogated by Amanda Waller. He's doing hand stand push ups so it makes sense that Jared Leto said he is putting on weight. He's definitely not skinny, but in fact more muscular. He has bleached skin not make up. #SPOILER - He's killed one of Batman's sidekicks, there is a lot of references to his past crimes. He kills a lot of people. HUGE #RUMOR - I'm also told The Joker has a lot of scenes with HUGO STRANGE! He's the psychiatrist at the prison & seems to be a part of the story yet I heard nothing of casting or mention of a single casting choice. Hugo Strange has quite a few interactions with the Joker & Harley Quinn. It's not the regular security. It's internal one on one thing. #THEJOKER #THEDARKKNIGHTRETURNS #JAREDLETO #HUGOSTRANGE #AMANDAWALLER #HARLEYQUINN #DC #DCCU #DCCOMICS #SCOOP #FIRE #BOOM A photo posted by Umberto Gonzalez (@umbertogonzalez) on Mar 13, 2015 at 6:42am PDT

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