Between the tattoos and the silvery smile, "Suicide Squad's" Joker looks much different than past incarnations of the character. According to director David Ayer, that's because his appearance tells its own story about his history with his archenemy: Batman. Speaking the Empire, Ayer revealed the origin of the Joker's look, why he asked for Batman and more.
"This is sort of my personal thing and maybe less about a larger connection. But Joker killed Robin and Batman basically smashes his teeth out and locks him up in Arkham Asylum," Ayer explained. "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."
"When I signed on, I explicitly asked for Batman. Everything's always done in his viewpoint, in this case we see Batman through the eyes of the baddies that he arrests, so I thought it was important to show how he takes them down," he added.
As to the film's theatrical cut, he said, "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."
He also weighed in on Amanda Waller's character and how she could have figured out Batman's secret identity. "She's an intelligence officer, and if you start running down the logic trails of things and you have this Batman figure acting as a vigilante -- and at this point he's been doing it for maybe 20 years -- the intelligence services would absolutely figure out who this guy is and where he comes from," Ayer shared. "You'd put a friggin' drone over Gotham City and just track the guy, it's only logical. Amanda Waller would somehow get this information. There's something fascinating in how she could wrangle these monsters. She has to be an apex predator in order to control them."
The next DC Cinematic Universe installment, "Suicide Squad," stars 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 and is now in theaters.