‘Sucide Squad’ Director David Ayer Told Us Where The Dreadful ‘Damaged’ Tattoo On Jared Leto’s Joker Came From

jared leto as joker in suicide squad

Warner Bros.

Ever since his 2016 film Suicide Squad got ravaged by critics and fans alike, director David Ayer has remained adamant that his untampered, studio-interference-free director’s cut is a far superior film.

One question that’s always lingered with me, though, is where the idea of Joker’s “Damaged” tattoo came from. Why? Because this seemingly tiny detail always represented an obscenely fundamental misunderstanding of the character’s core.

Earlier this month, to mark the seven-year anniversary of the film, Ayer was sharing behind-the-scenes photos and concept art sketches for the film, one of which was of Leto’s Joker. Seeing an opportunity, I asked — through our Post Credit Podcast Twitter account — where that infamous ink came from.

And about a week later, to Ayer’s credit, he not only responded but owned it by admitting that it was his idea and that it wasn’t a good one.

“I own the tattoo idea 100%. It was my choice. Original idea is it would say ‘Blessed’ and not ‘Damaged’. Now having said that — I regret that decision. It created acrimony and division. Not every idea is a good idea. And I’ll just be in the corner here while the internet slaps me around for this post,” Ayer responded.

david ayer joker tattoo tweet

In addition to Leto’s largely reviled portrayal of Gotham City’s Clown Prince of Crime, Suicide Squad also starred Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, and Cara Delevingne.

The film wasn’t entirely unsuccessful, though, as it not only grossed $750 million against a $175 million budget, but it also introduced Robbie’s Harley Quinn, which remains a popular cinematic character to this day. Similarly, Viola Davis also remains in the DCU as Amanda Waller, having made the jump from the DCEU to the DCU thanks to her role in the Max series Peacemaker.