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When Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg team up for the first time next year in Justice League, they're going to have a lot on their plate. Steppenwolf, a minion of Darkseid, will come calling on Earth, presumably with an army of Parademons trailing behind. Then there's Lex Luthor, who, despite being imprisoned at the end of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, will still be causing trouble. However, for the folks who've been eagerly hoping to see Batman's arch-nemesis, The Joker, make some kind of appearance, it doesn't look like you'll get your wish.
Speculation on Joker's possible involvement in Justice League began a few months ago when Jared Leto posted on social media that he was in London, where the big superhero team-up movie was also shooting. Then a rumor surfaced yesterday that the Clown Prince of Crime would appear in the movie. This prompted The Wrap reporter Umberto Gonzalez to set the record straight on Twitter. Here's what he said:
While this isn't official confirmation on the matter, it does appear to have been settled that Joker will not be participating in Justice League. Narratively speaking, it makes sense, as the movie will see the heroes battling Steppenwolf as the Apokoliptan general searches for the three Mother Boxes. There's no reason for Joker to be involved in such a story. At least Lex Luthor already has a connection with Steppenwolf from when he communicated with him in Batman v Superman's "Communion" deleted scene. Outside of a flashback or a cameo, fitting Joker into Justice League would most likely have felt forced.
Jared Leto's Joker debuted last month in Suicide Squad, but despite being heavily featured in advertising and marketing, he didn't get that much screen time. Leto expressed disappointment about how many of his scenes had been cut from the movie, and neither Warner Bros and DC have given any indication when we might his version of the super villain return. There's always the potential Suicide Squad 2, but Ben Affleck's Batman movie would be the most logical choice. It's been confirmed that Deathstroke (played by Joe Manganiello) will be the Batman movie's main antagonist, but that doesn't mean he will necessarily be the only villain. It's been rumored many members of Batman's rogues gallery will appear, so there's no reason that Joker couldn't have a supporting role, even if he's not the primary bad guy causing trouble.
Whatever the future holds for The Joker, at least Batman won't be without any of his supporting characters in Justice League. Jeremey Irons reprising Alfred Pennyworth, and J.K. Simmons is debuting as Commissioner James Gordon. Along with Amy Adams, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe and Julian Lewis Jones, Justice League is going to have a packed cast.
Justice League hit theaters on November 17, 2017. If you have your own ideas about how The Joker should be used next in the DCEU, let us know in the comments below.