Jared Leto as Joker: Suicide Squad trailer sparks comparisons with Heath Ledger

Can Leto rival Ledger's Oscar-winning performance? Some of you aren't sure

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The Independent Culture

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...

...to the doubters...

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...