Suicide Squad director David Ayer comes to the defense of Jared Leto's Joker

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Aug 25, 2017, 12:17 PM EDT

We've been talking about the Joker a lot this week. Amid reports that an origin movie for the character, separate from the main DC Extended Universe, is underway, we also heard that the Suicide Squad version of the character could be set to star in a film alongside love interest Harley Quinn. That project would put stars Margot Robbie and Jared Leto back together again as Harley and Joker, respectively, and so that news naturally got everyone thinking about Suicide Squad again.

And, when you think about Suicide Squad, there's a tendency to think about the reports of Leto's bizarre onset behavior. Reports of Leto's devotion to "method" acting led to stories of dead pigs and used condoms being sent to cast members and the story that he and co-star Will Smith never shared a word together out of character. Those memories, coupled with the news of an Elseworlds-style Joker movie, led to whispers that perhaps Leto wouldn't ever play the Clown Prince of Crime again.

Yesterday, Leto himself downplayed both rumors that he wouldn't return to the character and reports of his on-set antics in a radio interview, and now Squad director David Ayer is also coming to the star's defense. Replying to a Heroic Hollywood story about Leto's recent comments, Ayer tweeted that any on-set tension we've heard about regarding Leto was apparently overblown.

Obviously in these situations there's always a public side and a private side, but one thing is clear: Both Leto and Ayer are devoted to downplaying any sense of tension that came out of the making of Suicide Squad. Whatever else that might mean, it almost certainly means that Leto wants to stick around in the role. While we don't yet know just how long he'll wear the makeup, don't expect him to go away just yet.