We knew Gotham City’s Clown Prince of Crime was going to return in Zack Snyder’s Justice League and, not too long ago, director Zack Snyder started to tease the world with how Jared Leto’s Joker would look in his reimagined film. If you’re into being teased up until the moment you watch the Snyder Cut for the first time, then you’re going to want to turn away; as we’ve gotten our first full look at Leto’s gag king in a new set of photos. Surprise surprise, Mr. J looks even more terrifying than we thought. One could even say he looks like a total Knightmare.

Thanks to the folks at Vanity Fair, we now have a clear as day look at a scarier, more worn out Joker in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Gone are the snazzy suits and the well-groomed hair and, yes, even the “Damaged” tattoo has taken its leave. Instead, Zack Snyder’s version of the classic DC Comics villain is much grungier and post-apocalyptic. Take a look for yourself and see what you think:

If you’re curious about just how the Joker is going to factor into Zack Snyder’s Justice League, there’s more background on that as well. In addition to the first look photos, VF also provided information about why Joker has a new look, as not only was Snyder intent on giving him a makeover but he also hoped to fulfill a vision that he set out to realize back when he made Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The publication included the following insight into Jared Leto’s big return:

Joker appears in the new film during a sequence set on a ruined Earth after the alien tyrant Darkseid invades and decimates the planet. It’s a dream sequence, a psychic vision, experienced by Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne that reveals what will happen if the superheroes fail to stop the onslaught. Joker is sort of the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, supplying motivation through terror.

With Ben Affleck’s Caped Crusader haunted by the shadows of things that may be, should the Justice League fail their quest that is, a brand new Joker seems only fitting. Since Bruce Wayne seeing a future that’s a psychic prediction of what might be, the events of that particular timeline would see his archnemesis looking much worse for the wear. Though, admittedly, the Joker would totally survive an apocalypse, as his cunning skill and ruthless attitude towards life would keep him at the top of the deck.

Getting to watch Jared Leto play that card against Ben Affleck’s Batman is something that’s going to make the four-hour movie event all the more exciting to see, once it launches on HBO Max as of March 18th. Let’s hope that trailer for Zack Snyder’s Justice League, set to release on Valentine’s Day, gives us a little action to go with the pictures we just saw.

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