Songs about light and darkness, truth, love, owning the world all sound like thoughts rolling around in the Joker’s head. Only crazy people and artists, which is just another name for crazies, have those kinds of thoughts. Everyone else is too busy working a 9 to 5.
On second thoughts, maybe not everyone! There’s the homeless and house husbands. But that’s another topic. The story today is Leto playing the Joker: A villain conceived on the 25th of April, 1940. A 75-year-old psychopath with a sinister nature. The perfect opposite to Batman. The arch nemesis who’d rather see Batman tortured instead of destroyed.
It could be said Joker’s heart pumps evil instead of blood, making him so dark he’s deliriously beautiful. Only those who’ve been pushed to the edge can relate. It’s hard to take in someone’s fake portrayal of madness, especially when said person’s life had always been oh so neat and pretty. It’s like a bad joke being forced down your sore throat.
Luckily, most actors’ lives are messy, chaotic. The only true constant in an actor’s life is his monthly bills, and even a simple bill can turn an actor criminal.
It’s hard getting madness on paper. Few writers have done it well, including when In 1988 Alan Moore released The Killing Joke. People read the Joker’s line, “All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day,” and went, "Yes!".
This further begs the question, is Leto going to make movie-goers say, “Yes!”?
People want to go to a movie and see their messy lives turned into great art. And it’s even better when an actor’s so good he leaves the viewers wondering if that was really just for acting.
30 Second to Mars music videos. There’s a sense Leto knows a little bit about madness. But who knows at the end of the day? Maybe he’s just good at pretending. Maybe it’s just marketing.
Well, if he’s good at the theatrics, let’s hope he’s even better at reading comic books. Playing Joker isn’t easy. Ledger raised the bar, and the pressures on. It might be just another dark night on a Saturday out for you, but for the stranger sitting right beside you? He could be just one bad day away, just one bad, long, terrible movie away...
The Killing Joke
Everyone experiences lost. Leto sings about lost, about friendships and family. However, does he really know what it’s like to murder someone’s best friend? After The Killing Joke, he should have an idea.
Mad Love by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm
If Leto’s truly to play the Joker, he needs to love like the Joker. Everyone knows, the darker the love, the sweeter the pleasure. After reading Mad Love, he should never lust after a sane woman again.
Batman: A Death in the Family by Jim Starlin and Jim Aparo
Each day you live, you’re closer to death. And yet, it always comes as a surprise when someone dies. Maybe that’s why the death of Robin still burns even more than 20 years after publication.
The Joker’s offing the Gotham elite one by one, brings about his first fight with Batman. Let’s face it. No one ever forgets their first.
'Death of the Family' story-line by Scott Snyder and Illustrators Greg Capullo and Jock
Joker’s gotten smarter, crueler. He knows if you really want to cause someone pain, go after what they love most. Their family.
So this list isn’t all inclusive. If you got something to say, then say it. What comic do you think Leto definitely needs to read? Let me know at @f3wsinc
BIO: Raine Wheat discovered people can live life half dead. Thinking that totally sucks, she grabbed her camera and started creating inspirational projects. She now blogs at F3WSINC.com, a blog focused on inspiring indie filmmakers to grab whatever camera they got and start filming today.