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In 2016, eight years after Heath Ledger gave his Oscar-winning performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight, Jared Leto gave his take on the Clown Prince of Crime for Suicide Squad, the third DC Extended Universe movie. While Joker was frequently mentioned in this year’s Birds of Prey, Leto had yet to reprise the role nearly half a decade later, but it looks like that’s about to change thanks to Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
The upcoming HBO Max miniseries, informally known as The Snyder Cut, is currently in the midst of shooting new footage, and THR has heard that Jared Leto is involved with this. What’s interesting about this is that not only was Jared Leto’s Joker nowhere to be seen in the theatrical version of Justice League, but there was never any word about him appearing in Zack Snyder’s version of the movie. So it seems Joker being involved in the story is a new development rather than something that had been planned years earlier.
So how will Jared Leto’s Joker fit into Zack Snyder’s Justice League? For now, that’s hard to say, although this means that the superhero team-up tale will now have a closer connection to Suicide Squad. We saw Batman a few times in Suicide Squad, including when he chased after Joker and Harley Quinn through the streets of Gotham City, but Leto and Ben Affleck’s respective characters never truly shared screen time. Perhaps Joker appearing in The Snyder Cut will finally change that.
Let’s also not forget that even before Jared Leto’s Joker was introduced in Suicide Squad, the cackling villain was teased in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, with the Robin memorial in the Batcave informing viewers that like in the comics, Joker had killed the Caped Crusader’s sidekick. Ideally that tragic event will also be referenced in Zack Snyder’s Justice League so we can finally get some true payoff for that tease.
The end of Suicide Squad saw Joker and his goons breaking Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn out of Belle Reve, although as detailed in Birds of Prey, the couple broke up soon afterwards. In the months following Suicide Squad’s release, there were reports about Leto reprising Joker in projects ranging from Gotham City Sirens to even his own standalone movie, though the latter is now unlikely to happen given that the Joaquin Phoenix-led Joker movie has come and gone.
With Jared Leto having also jumped over the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters to play Morbius, until today, it was unclear if we’d ever see him in the DCEU again. Now we can expect to see his Joker at least one more time. Considering that Leto will keep busy in the coming years not just with Morbius, but also the new Tron movie, Gucci and playing Andy Warhol, it’s possible The Snyder Cut will serve as his Joker’s swan song. On the other hand, depending on how The Snyder Cut is received, maybe there will be an opportunity to spotlight this incarnation of The Joker again later down the line.
Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on how Zack Snyder’s Justice League is coming along, and learn what other DC movies are on the way with our handy guide.