David Ayer, the director of the 2016 film Suicide Squad, has ignited fan interest once again by releasing an old test photo of Jared Leto’s Joker. Leto’s portrayal of the iconic DC supervillain was highly anticipated by DC fans leading up to the release of Suicide Squad, with many curious to see how Leto’s take on the character would compare to past film iterations, most notably Heath Ledger’s version in The Dark Knight. However, the majority of fans reacted negatively to Leto’s Joker, criticizing both the character’s design and his relatively short screen time in the film.
Ayer’s recently released photo reveals a very different look for Leto’s Joker, which could have been the final look for the Clown Prince of Crime in the 2016 DC Extended Universe film. The photo shows Leto’s Joker dressed in an extravagant tux-style suit that resembles a Matador’s outfit. The black ensemble is embroidered with golden lace work, including a giant skull on one lapel and an Illuminati eye on the other.
The release of the photo has once again sparked fan interest in Suicide Squad, with many fans calling for Ayer’s director’s cut of the film to be released. Following the release of Suicide Squad, multiple sources reported that the 2016 film had been heavily edited in post-production, scrapping several scenes (including most of Leto’s performance as the Joker) and changing the film’s ending. This led to fans creating the online movement, #ReleaseTheAyerCut. While other fan campaigns like #ReleaseTheSnyderCut (for 2017’s Justice League) have been successful, Warner Bros. and DC have expressed no interest in allowing Ayer to release his own director’s cut of the film.
Suicide Squad featured the first appearance of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, who was recruited by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) to be part of Task Force X, dubbed the Suicide Squad, a secret government team made up of imprisoned supervillains that undergo dangerous missions in exchange for reduced sentences. The 2016 film follows Task Force X as they attempt to save the world from the Enchantress (Cara Delevingne).
In addition to Leto and Robbie, Suicide Squad stars Will Smith as Deadshot, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Jay Hernandez as El Diablo, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, Adam Beach as Slipknot, and Karen Fukuhara as Katana. Ezra Miller and Ben Affleck also made cameo appearances in the film, reprising their roles from previous DCEU films as The Flash and Bruce Wayne, respectively.
Suicide Squad may not have been a critical success, but it did introduce several memorable characters, including Robbie’s Harley Quinn, who went on to star in the spinoff film Birds of Prey. While Leto did not return for Birds of Prey or the standalone sequel, The Suicide Squad, he did make a brief cameo in Zack Snyder’s Justice League as a more subdued version of the Joker.
Suicide Squad is available to stream on HBO Max, and while there may be no official plans to release Ayer’s director’s cut of the film, the release of the test photo of Leto’s Joker proves that there is still a lot of interest in the 2016 film and its characters.
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