David Ayer on Origin of Joker’s Forehead Tattoo & Multiple Cuts of ‘Suicide Squad’

by Luke Wongsuwan
0 comment

Despite the fact that the Joker didn’t quite have the amount of screen time in Suicide Squad that many of us had hoped for, his character is arguably the most holistically striking person in the film — especially when one considers his bleached-white skin, odd vocal inflections, quirky mannerisms, metallic teeth prosthesis (his grill), his numerous tattoos… and the fact that he’s the Joker.

One of the most notable tattoos that Jared Leto’s Joker possesses is the inscription of the word “Damaged” across the top of his forehead.  When the character design for this new Joker was revealed some time ago, many of us saw that word on his forehead and wondered what its meaning or purpose might be.  Fortunately, Suicide Squad writer and director David Ayer has revealed the origin of the tattoo, which he said pertains to both Batman and Robin.

During an interview with Empire Online, writer/director David Ayer spoke on the matter:

Joker killed Robin and Batman basically smashes his teeth out and locks him up in Arkham Asylum.  It’s in the asylum where Joker would have done the ‘damaged’ tattoo as a message to Batman saying, ‘You’ve damaged me. I was so beautiful before and now you’ve destroyed my face.’  That’s where the grill comes from.

However, we don’t know if any footage or written story exists for this particular explanation.  Whether or not either exist, we must wonder if we will see some representation of this explanation in the future, in a subsequent film — a solo Batman film, a Suicide Squad sequel, or hopefully, a Joker-centric film.


Robin’s elusive suit from BvS. Hmm…

Despite the fact that Joker’s small amount of screen time doesn’t technically constitute a cameo, many of us were disappointed with the brevity of his scenes.  Furthermore, considering the fact that multiple versions of Suicide Squad exist, one must wonder about the specific amount of Joker screen time that is present in each of the seven different cuts of the film.  Is there a version of Suicide Squad that has more than a mere estimate of ten minutes?  Maybe, or maybe not.  What we do know is that the theatrical version of Suicide Squad is referred to as the “dossier version,” according to Ayer.

Here’s what Ayer said about the theatrical cut and multiple versions of the film, when he spoke to Empire:

There’s a linear version we did where it opens up with June in the cave and tells the story in sequence with the arrests and Batman, and then we go to Belle Reve. Honestly, there may be six or seven different versions of the film. In that version, [test] audiences were left with a lot of questions and a little disoriented as to who to watch and why. So we came up with what we call the ‘dossier’ version which has Amanda presenting the backstories and origins of the various members.

Fans of the Joker in general, fans of Jared Leto’s Joker, and fans who were somewhat disappointed with Suicide Squad, are all wondering if, by some miracle, there will be a properly extended, expanded, and embellished cut of the film released on Blu-ray in the future — a version that expounds upon and further develops the Joker and his relationship with Harley Quinn and the Suicide Squad.

Finally, here’s what we’re all really wondering: specifically, why did Griggs request that his internet history be cleared if he was killed, and what exactly has he been looking at?  David Ayer simply said that “it’s better left unsaid.”

You may also like