Warner Gets It Right: Leto And Crew Make A Perfect Suicide Squad

Find out why we think the Suicide Squad casting is simply delectable.

In shocking news today, DC/Warner seem to be continuing the trend of appearing as if they're finally taking the DC film universe seriously. My man, my love, Jared Leto, will be the next Joker. There is now enough cream in my jeans to fill an entire box of Twinkies. Not only do we get Jared Leto, but Tom Hardy, and Will Smith will be in our Suicide Squad, only some of the most talented actors working today. To lead the pack, they could have gotten any cruddy music video director to make his feature film debut, but no, we get David freakin' Ayer, the writer of Training Day, director of End of Watch, the tense and gnarly cop thriller, and Fury, one of the best films of this year. David Ayer has proven again and again, he has a mature grasp of the nastiest dirt of the human soul, and with Fury has proven he can lead an ensemble cast of top talent in a grimy action film. How could you dare ask for more?

Oh, wait. Margot Robbie is playing Harley Quinn... dear me...

I actually stopped at the time of this writing to verify that this isn't all far too good to be true. Okay, it's true, so now I can breakdown exactly why these are perfect casting choices and it's incredibly easy if you've watched any good movies in the past decade. Leto, Hardy, and Smith, are all masters of their craft. It blows my mind that anyone could possibly think these three, especially Leto, wouldn't dedicate every droplet of blood, muscle fiber, bone, and organ in their bodies to no less than owning their respective roles. Firstly, I want to talk about Jared Leto, a man that has evolved from a good actor to an exceptional one in a very short period of time. He has demonstrated perpetually his aching passion for everything he does. Whether it is music or film, he never pours any less than everything he's got into his art. His latest role as the drug-addicted trans woman, Rayon, in the excellent Dallas Buyers Club was transformative and wasn't the first time he almost virtually became an entirely different person for the sake of the art. Chapter 27 saw Leto gaining nearly 70 pounds by drinking a nightly diet of microwaved ice cream, soy sauce, and olive oil, which lead him to require a wheelchair due to gout. Before that he had shed to a skeletal figure as Harry Goldfarb in Requiem for a Dream. This would be nothing if he wasn't also a stunning actor who utterly envelops his roles—which a small sum of ignorant fans seem to forget or literally have no idea about. How could we expect any less of him for Joker? Seriously. How?

"Dear Jesus, we thank you today for
Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn."
After Heath Ledger, there is no possible way that Leto doesn't fully understand what he's in for as a following act. Speaking of Ledger, it also seems that everyone forgot the several months straight of nerd rage after hearing his casting that was squashed within seconds of seeing him spout his first line as Joker in Dark Knight. Leto is in the very same class or higher than even Ledger was, and you better believe that Jared Leto, whether there ever was a Heath Ledger Joker or not, is going to pour every last drop of heart and soul into this role. He has to and you also better believe that he knows this already. And he won't be doing this alone. With David Ayer's impeccable direction and Robbie's Harley Quinn fawning like a maniacal fangirl at his side, this is an intoxicating, and wicked cocktail waiting for its inevitable stir.

What can we say bad about Tom Hardy? The only role he was questionable in was Dark Knight Rises as the cartoonishly goony, Bane. If you've seen him in pretty much anything else, you can't tell me he isn't an extraordinarily hard-working actor. Take Nicolas Winding Refn's Bronson, for example. What? You've never seen it? Well, change that, and change that quickly. Hardy met the delightfully, possibly insane man it's based on and mirrored not only his voice and mannerisms, but even utilized the same workout routine that Bronson developed himself while living as a prisoner. Recently, Hardy was sharp, and controlled in Locke, a film which he carried 100% alone in a car. How many actors do you think are capable of engaging an audience like that? Let us not forget his bitter and beastly role in Warrior, his forthright and strong Forrest in Lawless, and his icy Shinzon in Star Trek: Nemesis. Like Leto, Hardy is a chameleon actor, capable of far more than the general audiences are aware of.

Do I even need to list Will Smith's numerous jaw-dropping performances? Ali, The Pursuit of Happyness, Seven Pounds, and even I Am Legend. Defending these casting choices shouldn't be necessary, but why is it everyone forgets how great and versatile this cast is? I guess the next clever joke we'll hear is the "Fresh Prince of Crime" or something. Maybe "The Deadshot of Bel-air!" Yep, real funny, except, you know, that these are actors. They, uh, act for a living. Their job is to become something they're not, all whom I've mentioned have demonstrated consistently that this is something they're very good at, Will Smith included. The only real "problem" left is the fact that Smith is black and Deadshot isn't, but I'm sure some fanboys have already come up with an absurd reason why Deadshot can't be black. I'm also pretty sure that "Mike Looowwwrey" is exactly the kind of direction Warner is going for... only not, because that would be idiotic for a company that likes money. If you have any reason to think Smith or Ayer won't be coming at this role (and all of the others) as seriously as possible, you clearly have no clue what you're talking about.

Jared Leto as Joker, though, is one of the best casting choices I've heard in comic to film history. Yeah, I said it. At 42, Leto has unholy good looks, but also the age and experience to be able to stretch within those very wide borders. I guarantee you that if he hasn't started yet, like Ledger, Leto will bury himself in the Joker, devouring everything he can about the nut job, diving head first into an insane pool of creative obsession, and very likely physically torturing himself to fit the role of his lifetime. He will knock this out of the park. Mark these words. Mark them in permanent ink, and I will be able to tell you I told you so.

DC and Warner have set themselves a bar that seems like a fleeting fantasy that can never be reached, while simultaneously demonstrating with this cast and director that they very seriously intend on reaching it anyway. I was never expecting much out of this Suicide Squad film, in fact, I felt it was too unusual of a launch pad for several of these characters, especially when considering the epic plans for Justice League that have already been slotted. I hope that DC and Warner haven't bit off more than they can chew because of an itch to catch up to Marvel, but anyone following the film industry and its top performers can tell you that they are gathering all of the right tools and the strongest people to weld them. My only apprehension about all of this—Justice League and Suicide Squad—is that it certainly is too good to be true.

Now, just listen to Jared Leto's nutty laughter in this clip and if this alone doesn't convince you, then maybe the rest of his career will.

-J.G. Barnes