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Suicide Squad

Margot Robbie (L) and Jared Leto (R) in Suicide SquadSuicideSquad/Facebook

With the release of Warner Bros.’ upcoming supervillain team-up flick “Suicide Squad,” all eyes will be on Jared Leto’s portrayal of the iconic Batman villain, The Joker. Leto’s got a tough act to follow after Heath Ledger nailed the role in “The Dark Knight” with his Oscar-winning performance.

The actor recently spoke about his take on The Joker and revealed how he and the team consciously decided to move in a “new direction” with the character.

“We walked in a completely new direction. I think we knew that we had to do that,” Leto told Superhero Hype. “It was important to do that. When the Joker has been done and done so well, it gives you a bit of an indication of where you shouldn’t go. There’s a bit of a map there. That’s the good part about it.”

Leto also added that It was “quite an honor” to play such an iconic and beloved character like The Joker, who has been a major pop culture figure for 75 years. “I’m just the latest in the long list of people who have redefined and reinvented this character. The actors, the voice actors, the television series, the writers, the artists and the fans. People have taken the Joker and reinvented and redefined for 75 years. It is really special to be asked to do that,” he said.

Part of the plan for taking The Joker in a new direction in “Suicide Squad” was to have his love interest Harley Quinn at his side — making it her first ever live-action cinematic appearance. Margot Robbie, who plays Quinn, explained her research process behind bringing this character to life.

“I did a lot of research on mental illness and co-dependency,” the “Wolf of Wall Street” actress said of her approach to playing The Joker’s sidekick. “I was trying to access a way in to understanding why she’s so in love with the Joker. I kind of decided that she’s co-dependent on him. Now that I’ve done the research, I realize that that’s more of an addiction than an illness.” Suicide Squad opens in theatres on Aug. 5, 2016.

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