One of the biggest conversations about the upcoming Suicide Squad film has been about Jared Leto's Joker, from Leto's onset antics to his most unique visual feature, the odd tattoos that cover his body. Director David Ayer says those tattoos aren't an accident - they're designed to tell a story.
“The tattoos tell a very specific story,” Ayer told Yahoo! Movies UK. “And eventually people will decipher them and understand what’s going on, but obviously they’re contentious, any time you do something new it’s contentious. There’s very specific stories and Easter eggs in those tattoos. And even his teeth, there’s an entire story behind that which is absolutely canon. It’s putting his history on his body. This Joker is a little more working class, who I believe could live in our world.”
It's that last bit that Ayer wants to hammer home - these ideas come from the real world, where many prison gangs and criminal cartels use tattoos as visual shorthand for their stories.
“A lot of it has to do with creating a character with some kind of history and footprint in our world,” Ayer explained. “And not have this sacrosanct being outside of our continuum, our reality. If a guy like him really existed today, where would he come from? How would he do business? Who would he know? What would he look like? In my mind, I took a lot of inspiration from drug lords on Instagram. It’s a great way to understand the lifestyle of a villain.”
Suicide Squad is due for an August 5 theatrical release.