"Suicide Squad's" Joker is Faithful to What the Character Represents, Says David Ayer

"Suicide Squad" director David Ayer explained how Jared Leto's version of the Joker has "a lot of respect" for the character's history, even while pushing him into a new phase, during an interview with USA Today.

"It's a scary character to tackle," Ayer explained. "This iteration of him, people will realize there really is a continuity of history -- there is a lot of respect for what the Joker represents, who he is as a character. He is the best known villain in fiction, so there's an incredible responsibility there to also be faithful to what he is but at the same time push him into this next world, next time, next phase."

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He also recalled how "people kept their distance" from Leto on set, as Leto chose to approach the character through method acting. "It really made an event when he would show up on set. There was almost a pageantry to him, which did translate into the character and the power on screen he has," Ayer shared, adding that Leto freaked him out "big time. The hairs stand up on the back of your neck."

"The commitment to the role, you're going to see that really shine through in a way that you're not used to seeing actors in movies really go all the way with (in) every little moment and every little breath," added "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" director Zack Snyder. "You're going to get taken on a journey with Jared that I don't know that everyone's ready for but I think it will be amazing."

"Suicide Squad," based on the DC Comics team and starring Jared Leto as the Joker, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Will Smith as Deadshot, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, Karen Fukuhara as Katana, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, Jay Hernandez as El Diablo and Adam Beach as Slipknot, is scheduled for release on Aug. 5, 2016.

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