Jared Leto on Joker: There’s a ‘rated-R or rated-X performance in there’


Jared Leto’s performance as iconic Batman villain the Joker in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad has been a topic of much debate within fandom. Ever since we got that first shot of the shirtless clown prince of crime all tatted up, fans have consistently speculated on whether this new take on the character would live up to expectations, or if it would be another in an increasingly long line of disappointments from DC’s movie offerings. 

Well, Suicide Squad is out, and reviews are mixed – well, mixed between “it’s kind of okay” and “war crime.” The fact that the much-hyped and much-advertised Leto performance ended up being a very small part of the movie is either a blessing or a curse, depending on how you felt about that take on the character. According to Leto, though, there may have been a lot more of his take on the clown than ended up in the theatrical release – enough footage “for a Joker movie,” he says.

“If I were to die tomorrow maybe the studio would roll something out,” he told BBC Radio, adding that there’s “a rated-R or a rated-X performance in there somewhere.”

Let’s assume for a second that Leto isn’t being totally hyperbolic (a fair leap, admittedly) and take him at face value; let’s believe that some Joker scenes were filmed that might potentially be worthy of an X-rating (whether you interpret that as “um, actually it would be NC-17” or “outright pornographic” is up to you). The fastest way for any mainstream movie to get a higher-than-R-rating is with pretty hot and heavy sexual content. And if that’s the case, just…man. Say what you will about the movie itself or the directorial choices made therein, but there is no universw (or movie good enough) where we need to see the Joker – literally any version of the Joker – getting down.

Stepping back from that completely creepy angle, if there really is that much Joker footage on the cutting room floor, that speaks to reports that there are two cuts of Suicide Squad – a more lighthearted cut favored by Warner Bros. and another, more serious take preferred by Ayer. If true, it speaks to the confusion and disarray DC’s Expanded Universe films have found themselves in ever since Batman v Superman‘s overly serious and dour outlook was met with tepid reviews.

Seriously, though, Warner Bros. We don’t need to see the Joker bang. Ever. You know that dude is a cartoon character who shows up on kids’ underwear, right?