Jared Leto Speaks More on the Joker, Partly Influenced by David Bowie, ‘Suicide Squad’ is an “Introduction”

Suicide Squad is out, folks. Did you go see it?

There were a lot of things that comic book fans were going to scrutinize in anticipation of this film and Jared Leto’s Joker was definitely one of them. Not just anybody can play the Joker and thankfully, the few who have had the honor have been extremely memorable in different ways. Leto was up to bat and his reception has been… a little contentious.

The non-news for today is that Jared Leto was interviewed by NME, in which they asked him (because NME is mostly a music publication) which musician influenced his Joker. He said,

“I spoke with a writer… we discussed David Bowie a bit. Not necessarily the music of David, but his class, his elegance, his timelessness. Bowie was definitely one of the people we spoke about. I think David Bowie’s probably an inspiration for anything you could do creatively.” 

Not that you were wondering, but the writer in question was likely Geoff Johns as Leto describes him as “famous writer in the world of DC.” What other comic book writer would be involved other than DC Entertainment’s Chief Creative Officer? Regardless, it’s interesting that he would mention Bowie, because although his strange yet elegant persona would work for a Joker to which comic book fans are accustomed, you could never tell that the late Bowie had any influence at all on his Joker. Aside from the flamboyant attire and likely some bizarre mannerisms, they didn’t seem at all similar. Then again, Leto did say “a bit,” maybe that was the bit.


There was, in fact, more to the interview.

Another interesting bit was when the interviewer asked about the vague origins of the Joker and whether he had formulated his own backstory, to which he affirmed, but could not really explain as time was very limited. He talks about asking enough questions to be able to create a backstory that makes sense so that it could inform his performance.

He briefly touched upon the limited screen time of his character. He admits that he hasn’t seen the movie and therefore, does not know what has been cut, but he explains that there was a lot of footage shot, but likely not included. He concludes that it’s meant to be a “bit of an introduction to the Joker.” And the journalist asked of whether that confirms if he’ll return, he gives a vague answer and explains that it’s based on response.

Apparently, he is aware of the mixed feelings (Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ aggregated score = 26%, Rotten Tomatoes aggregated audience score is 73%), but seems to brush it off as he says that “it has not very much to do with me and what I’m doing now.”

Personally, his Joker was certainly different, but a little forgettable, but I attributed it to the real lack of Joker. With him calling it an introduction, I’m more excited to see a movie that focuses on the Joker a central villain and see whether Bats can match wits.

Check out the whole interview here:

Go watch Suicide Squad now and form your own opinion. Come back and tell us.


Adam Poncharoen​sub

Adam Poncharoensub is a blogger, movie critic, and Born-Again Batman fan. When he’s not chained to his desk writing, he likes to spend his days spreading the gospel of the Dark Knight in the treacherous suburbs of Miami or working under Dropping Loads Productions, where he co-hosts a comedy podcast and produces sketches.