Jared Leto must have known that from the moment DC Comics fans clapped their eyes on his Joker, the floodgates holding back Heath Ledger comparisons would fly open.
But perhaps even Leto, an Oscar winning actor in his own right, was not expecting the deluge that hit Twitter as soon as the first Suicide Squad trailer dropped.
Leto plays the psychopathic supervillain in the upcoming David Ayer movie alongside the likes of Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Cara Delevingne and Ben Affleck but, while many have "high hopes" for his performance, others are doubting whether he could ever rival Ledger's.
Ledger, who died aged 28 in 2008, won a posthumous Oscar, Golden Globe and Bafta for Best Supporting Actor after playing the Joker in The Dark Knight. Jack Nicholson also took on the iconic role, portraying an especially dark and twisted version in 1989's Batman and later reportedly warning Ledger of the perils of doing so himself.
Leto's Joker will have green hair, scary themed tattoos, disgusting teeth and crazed eyes but, by the looks of things, no forced red 'Not so serious!' smile.
When Leto growls, "Oh I'm not gonna kill you, I'm just gonna hurt you really, really badly" at the end of the new teaser, soundtracked by an eerie cover of The Bee Gees' "I Started a Joke", that alone is enough to give us nightmare. But will he win round the loyal Ledger gang threatening not to watch his effort?
Here's what those filling the cinema seats make of Leto's chances, from the supporters...
Heath Ledger was iconic and legendary as Joker, but Jared Leto.. man..— Nathan Bringuer (@NBringuer) July 14, 2015
Jared Leto's joker looks like he's going to be every bit as creepy as Heath Ledger's. Credit where it's due, DC— Neil Caskey¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@neil_caskey) July 14, 2015
Sick of seeing people say Jared Leto's joker looks nothing like Heath Ledger's. They were never meant to be similar...— MACAROON (@JMSGDLL) July 14, 2015
People need to stop comparing Jared Leto and Heath Ledger....they are two COMPLETELY different jokers pic.twitter.com/e7p1tnNUkz— Damaged (@Dr_Priceless97) July 14, 2015
ppl complaining about jared leto's joker after 5 seconds of footage apparently don't remember that the same thing happened to heath ledger.— Chloe Price (@Dekashoko) July 13, 2015
Jared Leto is the only actor I can think of who is worthy enough to play the Joker after the legendary Heath Ledger— Megan Suri (@megaa_indian) July 13, 2015
...to the doubters...
comparing jared leto to heath ledger is like comparing a crusty garbage lid to a pure cinnamon roll— spideypool lives (@deadcooI) July 13, 2015
No one could do a Joker better than Heath Ledger. Sorry Jared Leto— Palmer Mattice (@pmattice98) July 14, 2015
Yeah, Jared Leto looks pretty good as the Joker but I can't help but feel that role is untouchable because of Heath Ledger. Still the best.— JAKE POWELL (@jakesocean) July 14, 2015
I LOVE JARED LETO BUT I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW PEOPLE COMPARE HIM TO HEATH LEDGER HEATH LEDGER WAS A PHENOMENON— an.na (@perksofaugustus) July 13, 2015
if you think jared leto will ever top heath ledger as the joker please stay at least 10 feet away from me— loise i think (@prattsandrec) July 14, 2015
Jared Leto has huge shoes to fill. Both Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger killed those roles. Flawless performances.— Natural Mystic (@ItsMeShaunnaP) July 9, 2015
Warner Bros has scheduled Suicide Squad's release for August 2016, less than six months after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice reaches cinemas on 25 March.
It remains to be seen whether Leto will make his debut as the Joker in that film, but a snippet from the Comic-Con trailer showing Robin's suit tagged by the Joker suggests we may get what we want...Reuse content