Here’s your first blurry look at Jared Leto as The Joker

jared leto joker suicide squad 650px
Yesterday’s news brought a photo of the cast of Suicide Squad gathered together for a reading of the film’s script, but the image was particularly notable for who it didn’t feature. Conspicuously absent from the group of actors in the photo was Jared Leto, who will play iconic Batman villain The Joker in the upcoming supervillain team-up movie.

And now, just a day later, we have our first photo of Leto as the menacing trickster himself.

Suicide Squad director David Ayer posted a blurry photo of Leto as DC Comics’ “Clown Prince of Crime” to Twitter yesterday, and along with offering the first glimpse of The Joker as he might appear in the film, it also pays homage to one of the most iconic images of the character from his comic-book history.

As you can see, the photo features Leto holding up a camera, his green hair on display, but much of his actual face and features blurred. Many had wondered whether the film, which is expected to offer a gritty spin on some of DC Comics’ most popular villains, would actually go so far as to give Joker his signature, emerald-hued hair — but this image should provide at least some comfort to comics purists.

batman the killing joke jokerThe photo posted by Ayer also evoked an image familiar to longtime comic fans: the iconic cover of 1988 graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke.

Written by Alan Moore and featuring art by celebrated illustrator Brian Bolland, The Killing Joke is regarded by many readers as one of the greatest Joker stories ever published, and offers both a new origin story for the character and one of Batman’s darkest, most disturbing encounters with his notorious arch enemy. The cover of The Killing Joke (see below) famously features Joker pointing a camera at the reader, much like Leto is doing in Ayer’s photo.

Scheduled to hit theaters August 5, 2016, Suicide Squad follows a group of supervillains who are forced to undertake dangerous missions for a mysterious government agency. Along with Leto as The Joker, the film stars Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, Karen Fukuhara as Plastique, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, and actors Ike Barinholtz, Jim Parrack, Adam Beach, and Jay Hernandez in unspecified roles (rumored to be Hugo Strange, Deathstroke, Ravan, and El Diablo, respectively).

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