Suicide Squad: PG-13 and The Joker Method


Suicide Squad: PG-13 and The Joker Method

When Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker in Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight there were plenty of critics. Ledger didn’t exactly have an impressive resume up to that point and he had a perceived Matthew McConaughey vibe.

But, just like McConaughey, he took pains to hone his craft and legitimize his career as an actor. Ledger adopted The Method as he tackled the Clown Prince of Crime, living as his character 24 hours a day. Many claim that this dedication is what ultimately cost him his life, but that’s a story for another day.

Jared Leto’s casting as the new cinematic Joker drew similar derision, and not surprisingly he’s followed the same path as his predecessor. In a recent interview with Collider, Suicide Squad producer Charles Roven talked about Leto’s transformation and what it was like working with an actor living as The Joker.

"Look, you know, it was different, it was fun. The group first wasn’t sure because the AD’s had to call him ‘Mr. J’ to get him to come to the set [laughs]. And he did in many ways isolate himself from the rest of the group, but that’s really what his character was, the purpose of his character in many ways, other than when he was with Harley or trying to get Harley. It was very entertaining, it was fuel for a lot of good sport and a lot of laughs, and his isolation bonded the squad, and we wanted the squad bonded."

Well, that sounds a lot healthier than popping Ambien. That gives me a little hope. After seeing Leto in the flawed but ambitious Mr. Nobody, I have a feeling he’s going to be a memorable addition to the DCU.

Roven goes on to talk about the hiring of director David Ayer and why a relative unknown was tapped to helm one of the two cornerstone properties of DC Films. Turns out it was all Ayer.

"He had a close relationship with [Warner Bros. executive] Greg Silverman and Greg said, ‘He’s got an idea on Suicide Squad, he wants to come in and pitch it.’ Having a guy like that who’s been able to—all of his films have had a certain level of groundedness to them, really feeling very richly real. And so having that sensibility, which is along the lines of what we were talking about earlier how we like to have things grounded in science or whatever, I was very anxious to hear what his take was gonna be on Suicide Squad and I was very happily surprised, but it was right exactly in the pocket that we were looking for. Honestly that movie was essentially greenlit in the pitch meeting."

That part I didn’t expect. The reason Suicide Squad was a strong strategic move in DC’s race to catch up with Marvel is that it’s a clever way to introduce a whole world of villains without shoehorning them into a single superhero film. Turns out it was more of a happy accident and not orchestrated all that far in advance.

Next: Important Facts About Comic-Con Badge Sales

But what can we expect from the film? David Ayer’s body of work is rather gritty and adult. Is DC willing to go ‘R’?

"The intention of the film is definitely to be PG-13… We really want to make these films tonally consistent so that, as I said because this is a shared universe, at least our current thinking—and again, we’re not dealing in absolutes because while this is business it’s also a creative endeavor, so you want to leave yourself open to changing your mind, doing something different, being inspired, that’s the whole process of filmmaking is you have to allow for inspiration as well as having a road map for what you’re gonna do. So our plan right now is to make all these films PG-13. In some cases, you know, right there on the edge of PG-13, but still PG-13."

More from Bam Smack Pow

Please enable Javascript to watch this video

We aren’t expected to see a new Squad trailer this year, but I’d put money on us seeing something big before Batman v Superman in March.