Here Are Some New Jared Leto Joker Images to Obsess Over

By  · Published on October 26th, 2015

Today, as an unexpected gift on National Pumpkin Day, Warner Brothers and Empire Magazine released a handful of new photos from the upcoming Warner Brothers film Suicide Squad. There aren’t a ton of new photos – and they don’t offer us much in the way of things we haven’t already seen – but they do start to flesh out Jared Leto’s take on the Joker, everyone’s favorite DC Comics villain. Below you can find the cover of the Suicide Squad collector’s edition of Empire Magazine and a still of a meaningful sit-down between Leto’s Joker and Margot Robbie’s (still sane?) Harley Quinn.

Say hello to the bad guy. It’s @JaredLeto’s Joker; our new Suicide Squad issue cover star.

— Empire Magazine (@empiremagazine) October 26, 2015

Time for a little thereapy @MargotRobbie @JaredLeto #skwad – David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) October 26, 2015

If you’d already made up your mind on the appeal of Ayer’s Suicide Squad, these photos probably won’t make much of a difference one way or the other. That’s not to say they aren’t a nice reveal, though. Part of what makes the Joker such a fun character is how wildly diverse his depictions can be. The character has run the gamut from the tragic, to the fun insane, to the terrifying insane. He has shocked people with a hand buzzer in a prime time television series and peeled off his own face in the rebooted DC Comics universe. The Joker can be anything you want him to be – crazy, calculating, evil, tragic, scientist, comedian – and this means that Jared Leto’s Joker isn’t the significant departure from cannon that some of us may think. We can compare Leto to Ledger or Hamill all we want, but I, for one, kind of missed the flamboyant version of the character. If Ayer’s version of the Joker is what would happen if we had Jake Busey play James Bond, then I say let’s do this thing, and let’s do it now.

As for the film itself, there’s no shame in admitting that the marketing material thus far has piqued your interest. Right now the superhero film has gone the way of the zombie apocalypse. So many different filmmakers and studios have done new and creative takes on the zombie movie that only the real departures stand out. The things that used to make superhero movies great – the realistic approach to blending contemporary America with superhuman organizations or the effects-driven fight sequences – have become part of the basic template. We’re inundated with solid trailers and teaser images, and the fact that Ayer’s film has its own thing going on is exciting. Their trailers may not have the broadest appeal, but that opens the door for the film itself to be anything under the sun. Suicide Squad might be a Hot Topic store come to life, but not every piece of clothing you own can come from Banana Republic.

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Matthew Monagle is an Austin-based film and culture critic. His work has appeared in a true hodgepodge of regional and national film publications. He is also the editor and co-founder of Certified Forgotten, an independent horror publication. Follow him on Twitter at @labsplice. (He/Him)