Recreating an Iconic Super Villain  – Jared Leto’s look as the new Joker

Most fans agree that Jared Leto was the right choice to step in Heath Ledger’s footsteps and embody the new Joker in the upcoming batman movie Suicide Squad. We wonder not only about what kind of new touches the Oscar winning actor will give to this character, but also how the costume and make up department will support his acting by creating a new look for one of the most iconic villains in comic book history. Even more difficult than to invent a complete new personage, is to design one that every fan already has a picture of. IMDB listens 137 appearances in movies, short films and cartoons since 1966. As you read these lines you probably have your favourite Joker in mind. Not easy to find the look to support Leto’s new interpretation and to stick with the white face, green hair and Chelsea Smile attributes we all know and expect.

The makeup and hair design for Suicide Squad will be done by Alessandro Bertolazzi, who also did the design for the 2014 war movie “Fury” starring Brad Pitt, teaming up once more with Marta Roggero as the key make up artist. While the full look is still kept a secret, rumours are spreading all over the internet. Leto recently admitted that he will have to gain a lot of weight for this role. My picture of the Joker is a rather lean one, so I was quite surprised to hear they won’t go with his usual body type – even though the actor is already famous for changing his weight to the extreme for different roles. His long ponytail, which in the last two years has become some kind of a signature feature, will have to go too. On current photos he wears his hair in a neat, almost white bleached Macklemore cut, which I am pretty sure will be only the base for a light pastel green dye. I like the fact that his eyebrows are also bleached and almost invisible, as it will make his gaze creepier and will work very well with Leto’s huge eyes.

It also leaves the option though, to draw stilted fake eyebrows, like Jake Nicholson had in Tim Burton’s version. Leto’s recently super pale complexion led to the rumour that he would bleach his skin and that the makeup department would use this method instead of pasty white makeup. That would definitely be an interesting turn, but I don’t know if that would maybe change too much of the character for most of the fans. I am absolutely curious and looking forward to what the movie makers will have in store for us in the new Batman movie. Surely, we will be able to cast a glance on the new ideas before the release date in 2016.

Elvira was born in 1985. She has 3 years education as a makeup, hair and special fx artist. Working as freelancer, she is also part of the Shapeshifters FX collective.   In her spare time she doubles as a drawer, painter and illustrator in Berlin, Germany.