When the first images of Jared Leto as The Joker surfaced, a lot of diehard Batman fans cried out in anger. The iconic villain had a whole new look for the upcoming Suicide Squad movie, complete with tattoos and silver teeth. It was a far cry from the Heath Ledger version of The Joker, which many people now consider the golden standard.
But Suicide Squad director David Ayer says that the different appearance wasn’t created just for the sake of being different. Everything about Leto’s Joker get-up was carefully planned and tells a story all of its own.
“The tattoos tell a very specific story,” said Ayer, according to Yahoo! Movies. “And eventually people will decipher them and understand what’s going on, but obviously they’re contentious, any time you do something new it’s contentious. There’s very specific stories and easter eggs in those tattoos. And even his teeth, there’s an entire story behind that which is absolutely canon. It’s putting his history on his body. This Joker is a little more working class, who I believe could live in our world.”
We don’t know the full extent of the tattoos, but with a comic history like The Joker, there should be plenty of clever references for eagle-eyes fans to spot. There’s also a rumor/fan theory that Letos’ Joker has silver teeth because Batman literally knocked most of the real ones out while delivering a massive beating in the wake of Robin’s death. Remember this image from Batman v Superman?