'Suicide Squad' Director Says 'The Crew Stops Working' When Jared Leto Does The Joker

Jared Leto
Courtesy Photo

Jared Leto as the Joker in the official trailer for "Suicide Squad."

Suicide Squad director David Ayer has set the DC Comics fan world a-buzzing after an interview with Total Film [via DC Vertigo Daily] in which he speaks of Jared Leto's performance as the Joker in almost messianic terms.

Leto, the Oscar-winning actor and frontman of 30 Seconds to Mars, was tapped back in 2014 to play the iconic role in Warner Bros.' film featuring iconic DC Comics supervillains. Of the opportunity to play such a legendary character already immortalized by the likes of Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger, Leto told Billboard last year, "to take on this nearly Shakespearean character -- that's what graphic novels and comic books are becoming, right? [He's] this beautiful disaster of a character -- what a big challenge."

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Ayer describes the experience of watching Leto-as-Joker as one in which "the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.

"What Jared has done is absolutely incredible," he gushes. "When he steps onto the set the world stops. Everything stops. What he’s done is so powerful, so menacing, so palpable, you can feel him. The crew stops working and just watches him. I have to get everybody going again because he’s so fascinating."

Fans will have to wait until the film's official release date of Aug. 5 to see it for themselves.