As the Joker says in The Dark Knight, “Madness is like gravity. All it takes is a little push.” Well, internet, consider this your push: According to extremely dubious set photos that we have absolutely no reason to accept as legitimate, the Joker might not really have tattoos in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad movie. That means the big Joker reveal from over the weekend was—potentially—a brilliant joke/waste of all of our time. So why did Ayer release that picture? Just to get everyone riled up? Did he think it was funny? What’s the point of that? What’s the point of any of this? Maybe we should all carve big smiles on our faces and dye our hair green. Wouldn’t that be funny? WOULDN’T THAT BE A GREAT JOKE? Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
No, but seriously, there’s a very significant chance that the extremely dubious set photos aren’t real. Or, at the very least, that they’re not showing what they seem to be showing. The first image depicts a green-haired Jared Leto that seems to match up with other photos of him that we’ve seen, with another showing him and some people who aren’t Jared Leto looking at a very small image on some kind of screen. Finally, a zoomed-in version of the screen shows a blurry man with green hair that is—supposedly—Jared Leto’s Joker without the tattoos on his face.
So is it real? We’ll lay out the evidence for you to decide, but to make it easy we’ll add in a helpful sound effect (ding!) that will let you know when something seems suspicious to us.
We first saw the images posted on Bleeding Cool, a comic book website that loves being the first to jump on hot rumors. Bleeding Cool said its source was Moviepilot.com, an entertainment website that occasionally publishes articles written by fans (ding!). Moviepilot doesn’t say where it got the pictures from (ding!), but it does cite a tweet from “an industry insider” on Twitter who calls himself Gabriel Gray that seems to corroborate the images. However, Gabriel Gray is the name of Zachary Quinto’s character from Heroes, so it’s probably not his real name (ding!).
Unfortunately, Gabriel Gray’s twitter account is set to private (ding!), which means that people who aren’t his followers can’t see the actual tweet (ding!) or any other tweets that might be relevant in establishing Gray as a reliable source. Also, and this seems obvious, but why would Ayer really have tweeted that Joker image if it weren’t real? And if it’s not real, why would he and Warner Bros. sit back and let everybody assume it’s real? Those are both worth five or six (ding!)s on their own.
Of course, there is a chance that these photos of a non-tattooed Joker are real, but that they’re older makeup tests or something. Maybe Ayer only settled on the Joker’s look recently, and the ink is a relatively new addition. Or it’s just as likely that Leto and some other people were crowding around a phone to watch a Marilyn Manson music video. Or maybe the blurry thing is photoshopped and none of this is real. That reminds us of another quote, this one from Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke: “Everything anybody ever valued or struggled for…it’s all a monstrous, demented gag! So why can’t you see the funny side? Why aren’t you laughing?”