– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Director David Ayer is at it again. The writer-director, charged with bringing DC’s SUICIDE SQUAD to the big screen, has had many nice things to say about Jared Leto and his portrayal of The Joker. As it turns out, he simply can’t shut up about Leto’s work.

Here are his latest comments on what Leto’s created in SUICIDE SQUAD:

“What Jared has done is absolutely incredible. When he steps onto the set the world stops. Everything stops. What he’s done is so powerful, so menacing, so palpable, you can feel him. The crew stops working and just watches him. I have to get everybody going again because he’s so fascinating.”

That’s what he told Total Film Magazine about what it was like to have Leto’s level of genius on the set of SUICIDE SQUAD. This is notable because Ayer is well-aware of how fans feel about the last cinematic Joker. Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime in Christopher Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT is considered one for the ages. The actor so deeply lost himself in the role, and made such dynamic choices, that every second he spent onscreen yielded magical results. His work would become the stuff of legend since he died of an accidental overdose before the film even came out, creating the lore that getting into The Joker’s frame of mind is what led him down that dark path.

Ayer coming out and saying that Leto’s work is also so groundbreaking, and so incredible, is creating quite a lot of curiosity about the end product. Surely, he wouldn’t be out there saying these things if he felt fans were going to be vastly disappointed when stacking Leto up against Ledger in their fanboy hearts. So he’s setting the bar pretty high.

Ayer also says that we don’t all know as much as we think we know about SUICIDE SQUAD. While the production was plagued with “leaks” due to its insistence on filming in very public areas last year, and fans have analyzed every trailer to death, Ayer says there are still plenty of surprises still to come:

“What’s interesting to me is how there’s been a lot to perception of what this film is because we have been exposed more than other movies. What people think this movie is is not what it is. There’s much more to come.”

We’ll find out exactly how many surprises there are, and how incredible Leto is, when SUICIDE SQUAD hits theaters on August 5.

What do you think it is about the character of The Joker that has led actors like Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Mark Hamill, Heath Ledger, and Jared Leto to do such dynamic work? There seems to be a certain magic in the role that brings out the best in whoever performs him.

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.