The Joker, one of the most iconic DC comics villains, has been portrayed on the big screen by Heath Ledger, in a performance of the decade. This year’s Suicide Squad will also feature character, but this time around Jared Leto will bring him to life. Having Ledger’s performance in mind, fans’ expectations for Leto are sky-high, and he knows this:
“The work that’s been done on this character by so many people before me has been so impactful,” Leto told EW, “so incredible, so much fun, so profound, so risky, that it’s a very special thing to be asked to take on that responsibility.”
However, he looks at the task in a way one might look at portraying a centuries old Shakespeare character in a play; reinterpretation is the key. Leto:
“Whether you’re a composer working on a piece of music that was written a century ago, or you’re an actor on stage, reinterpreting a play, it’s very common these days. Directors take on great works of cinema, actors reinterpret roles, that’s been going on for a great deal of time. From Scarface to Hamlet. In some ways it’s really interesting to reinterpret, redefine. It a weighty thing to do. But it’s exciting. The Joker is one of those roles. He was written brilliantly when he was first shared with the world 75 years ago.”
He closed by stating that he had to make the role his own, and also expressed gratefulness for being offered the role. We will get to see his take on the character for ourselves when Suicide Squad opens in theaters on come August 5.