David Ayer admits Joker’s “damaged” tattoo maybe a bit much

Is this guy damaged or what? And believe it or not, that’s not his real mouth!

Though an alternate-universe version was oddly added to the close of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Jared Leto’s Joker has effectively only appeared on screen as a tertiary character in a movie from 2016. Yet, like his desperately on-the-nose tattoos, he’s left an indelible mark that can’t be scrubbed off with recasting. Despite the promise that he’ll no longer be a part of the DC Studios lineup, a subset of online dorks are still devoted to getting worked up about the time Morbius was dressed up like a gangster clown.

Sadly, one such dork is Suicide Squad director David Ayer.

He’s been tweeting about his Joker as recently as—oh, this is sad—last night. As you might figure from someone spending his industry’s big night sending out seven-year-old photos of Jared Leto in face paint, he remains a fierce apologist for his vision of the Batman villain. But, in what could be a breakthrough in peaceful relations between superhero-obsessed 40-somethings and a 50-something director, Ayer recently admitted fault on what is widely acknowledged as the stupidest part of the Leto Joker: the “damaged” tattoo.

Of the numerous pseudo-edgy, nail-on-the-head tats covering Joker’s pasty frame, the cursive “damaged” script at Leto’s hairline has always been quite literally front and center. But it seems Ayer is ready to acknowledge that it was perhaps an inking too far.

Responding to some random guy asking about the tattoo, Ayer responded, “It was Joker trolling Batman after getting his teeth punched in by him. It’s the one aesthetic choice I wish I hadn’t made. Caught a lot of smoke for it obviously.”

With Warner denying Ayer a director’s cut, and Leto out of the DC cinematic universe, it’s a mistake we’re unlikely to ever see changed. But the comment does at least confirm that the filmmaker must be glad he switched out his original design for the Jokermobile.

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