Jared Leto’s take on the Joker is still drawing criticism, as even the animated characters of Teen Titans Go! recently took some shots as the actor’s portrayal. In 2016, Leto debuted his incarnation of the Clown Prince of Crime in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, but it was quite as well-received as the previous live-action versions of the character. His bizarre new look, which included a grill and a forehead tattoo, was hard for many longtime fans of the Joker to accept.
Five years later, Leto’s Joker is still getting bashed, and this time it’s even coming from within the DC Universe. In the “Pig in a Poke” episode of the animated series Teen Titans Go!, the heroes encounter a locked gate manned by a clown asking for the password. To fool the clown, some of the Teen Titans take turns imitating different incarnations of the Joker, and only Leto’s version was referenced in a negative light.
In the scene, Cyborg first imitates the Jack Nicholson incarnation of the Joker from Tim Burton’s Batman. Beast Boy then says he wants to “try my Heath Ledger” before transforming himself into the iconic version of the Joker from The Dark Knight. The imitation has the clown guard fully convinced that he’s talking to the Joker himself, but before he can open the gate, Robin jumps into the fray looking like Leto’s Joker while quoting a line from Suicide Squad. Now, the clown guard isn’t buying it.
“Wait a second, this isn’t the Joker!” says the clown guard, before the other Titans also start roasting Robin’s Leto impression.
“Jared Leto? You can’t just put on some tattoos and some fake teeth and make me think that you’re some kind of crazy person,” Cyborg says after slapping Robin on the head.
“The no one is buying it,” says Starfire, with Raven adding that Robin’s “impression is horrible.” Beast Boy then has to save the day by nailing an impression of Mark Hamill’s Joker from Batman: The Animated Series, which succeeds in getting the gate open. The scene is obviously reflective of how most of the Joker portrayals are popular with fans, except for Leto’s infamous take on the supervillain in Suicide Squad.
It’s not flattering for Leto to be in this position, but the good news is that his controversial Joker has gotten a taste of redemption thanks to Zack Snyder. He was brought in via reshoots to appear in a scene with Batman in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, and the cameo included a different look. This time around, fans were much more receptive to Leto’s Joker, with many even calling for Warner Bros. to give Ben Affleck a solo Batman movie co-starring Leto.
Suicide Squad director David Ayer has also said that Leto’s portrayal was much better than what was seen in the theatrical cut, as Warner Bros. had him axe a bulk of the character’s content. This has similarly had fans pushing for the studio to “Release the Ayer Cut” of Suicide Squad as well. For better or for worse, there are no plans at Warner Bros. at this time for that to happen. The “Visiting the Joker” clip comes to us from the YouTube channel for Teen Titans Go!.