UPDATE: 4/24/2015

And here he is...

UPDATE: 4/16/2015

Jared Leto seems to have shared a little more on snapchat.


David Ayer seems to have developed a wicked Twitter habit.

More likely, someone smart in the publicity/marketing food chain at Warner Bros. encouraged him to develop a wicked Twitter habit to help stoke the frenzy around what it hardly a guaranteed slam dunk.

Sure, there are a number of things that the film has going for it, and in today's climate, the first non-Superman or Batman shot fired in the DC vs Marvel war is going to be closely scrutinized. And, yes, I know that "Suicide Squad" is at least Batman-adjacent and might, for all we know, end up featuring the world's greatest detective in a cameo or even a small supporting role. But it's not a "Batman movie" in the sense that he's the driving force of the film.

Instead, I'd argue that the thing Warner has in their corner here that they can promote for all it's worth is a brand-new Joker. I know that fans are excited to see how they treat some of the other characters, and that the studio is leaning on the movie star power of Will Smith to sell this to the general public. But "The Dark Knight" was a cultural sensation, something bigger than "just" a hit film, and there has been a collective holding of the breath since then any time the character has been mentioned. Heath Ledger's work is iconic, and very hard to follow.

Jared Leto transformed his career with his "Dallas Buyers Club" performance to the same degree that he transformed his body to play that part, and since he won his Oscar, he's been circling projects, biding his time, waiting for the right role. In this case, the right role is something where part of the anticipation is simply what he's going to look like when he's fully wrapped in the character.

Ayer's been teasing it like a champ, and so has Leto, and when Ayer released that big cast photo, people went crazy because there was no Leto.

He may have been busy.

Okay, that's a pretty remarkable homage, and a heck of an image. I still don't think I'd call this the Joker, because I'm going to guess there's more make-up involved. But we're getting closer, and it's interesting to see just how much, between this film and Snyder's "Batman v Superman," the iconic '80s highpoints of the Batman catalog appear to be the direct precursors to what we're going to be seeing onscreen next year.

"Suicide Squad" will be in theaters August 5, 2016.

A respected critic and commentator for fifteen years, Drew McWeeny helped create the online film community as "Moriarty" at Ain't It Cool News, and now proudly leads two budding Film Nerds in their ongoing movie education.