With "Suicide Squad," the new DC film universe will introduce audiences to an all-new Joker -- this time played by Jared Leto. Leto's performance on set has been much talked about, as have the "gifts" (both dead and alive) he gave to his co-stars.
In a chat with Entertainment Weekly, Leto talked about the weight he felt taking on a role as iconic as the Joker, which has been played by actors like Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger in the past. "The work that's been done on this character by so many people before me has been so impactful, so incredible, so much fun, so profound, so risky, that it's a very special thing to be asked to take on that responsibility," said Leto.
Leto said the he felt the need to make his mark on the role. "You just knew you had to do something different. You had to make it your own," said Leto. "That happens all the time. Whether you're a composer working on a piece of music that was written a century ago, or you're an actor on stage, reinterpreting a play, it's very common these days. Directors take on great works of cinema, actors reinterpret roles, that's been going on for a great deal of time. From Scarface to Hamlet. In some ways it's really interesting to reinterpret, redefine.
"It a weighty thing to do," Leto continued. "But it's exciting. The Joker is one of those roles. He was written brilliantly when he was first shared with the world 75 years ago, or something crazy like that. And I think I'm just really grateful I had the opportunity."
Directed by David Ayer and starring Jared Leto, Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney and more, "Suicide Squad" opens on August 5.