As soon as the first look at Jared Leto as The Joker surfaced on web, we became pretty sure that this version is going to be poles apart from the previous ones. Not only was the Clown Prince of Crime shirtless for the first time in live-action cinema, he also had a bunch of crazy tattoos all over his body. The craziest one was surely the inscription of the word Damaged across his forehead.
While many fans loved this tattoo, many others were simply annoyed. Was that one really necessary? Couldn't it be avoided? Well, it does have some significance, according to David Ayer in an Empire Magazine interview.
According to the Suicide Squad director, the Damaged tattoo serves as The Joker's note to Batman for ruining his face after he killed the Boy Wonder:
Joker killed Robin and Batman basically smashes his teeth out and locks him up in Arkham Asylum. It's in the asylum where Joker would have done the Damaged tattoo as a message to Batman, saying, "You've damaged me. I was so beautiful before and now you've destroyed my face." That's where the grill comes from.
That's an interesting backstory, isn't it? But will we come across any reference to that in future DC Extended Universe installments? Perhaps we won't. This is because the director clarifies that it's sort of his "personal thing" and apparently "less about a larger connection".
Despite being unclear about the significance of The Joker's Damaged tattoo, we're pretty sure about the fact that the Caped Crusader knocked his teeth out.
I, for one, find this behind-the-tattoo story really cool, because The Joker is always going to do something this crazy to point his finger at Batman.
But maybe it would have been way cooler if they had a-minute-long scene in Suicide Squad referring to the tattoo. We prefer to have movies explain this sort of thing over having directors and actors explain them in interviews.
But then again, it's easier to just sit here and pass judgment than it is to go out there and make a movie.
During the interview, David Ayer expresses his disapproval of those who refer to The Joker's role as "a cameo". He states:
It's funny how the critics call it a cameo, but he has some fantastic sequences that are really important for the film. He really influences the journey quite a bit.