In the ever-evolving world of cinema, especially in the superhero genre, choices made about character portrayal can sometimes steer public discourse. One such decision from 2016’s Suicide Squad came under scrutiny and continues to evoke strong responses to this day. Director David Ayer recently took to Twitter to address a particular style choice for The Joker, played by Jared Leto.
Suicide Squad gave audiences a new iteration of The Joker. Jared Leto’s interpretation of the Batman villain, especially the choice to cover him in tattoos, became a topic of intense debate. At the epicenter of the discussion was the “damaged” ink across the character’s forehead.
The Joker almost had a different look
Taking to Twitter, David Ayer confessed to regretting the decision for the “damaged” tattoo, saying it “created acrimony and division.” Ayer further divulged that his initial intention was for the tattoo to read “blessed” rather than “damaged.”
If David Ayer were to revisit Suicide Squad for a potential Ayer Cut, digital tools could easily be employed to modify or erase the Joker’s “damaged” tattoo. Leveraging them could effectively address longstanding audience complaints regarding the character’s portrayal.
It’s currently unknown when or if the Ayer Cut of Suicide Squad would be released. If it does, it will likely be categorized under the “Elseworlds” banner of films, which includes any projects not canon to the main DC Universe being constructed by James Gunn and Peter Safran. Current projects in this category include Joker: Folie à Deux and The Batman: Part II.
James Gunn and Peter Safran told journalists that their vision for the DC Universe includes locked scripts, wiggle room and a unified storyline across film, television, animation and video game projects. The two explained that the DC Universe could bring back elements from previous DC regimes, meaning that their eight-to-year plan is not a full reboot.
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