Zack Snyder Reveals Why He Insisted On Bringing Jared Leto’s Joker In For Snyder Cut Reshoots

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The DC Extended Universe is an unpredictable place, and nowhere is that more obvious than with the life of Justice League. After years of fan campaigning the Snyder Cut is finally becoming a reality on HBO Max this March, and fans can't wait to see Zack Snyder's original vision finally come to fruition. But the filmmaker also added some new elements through reshoots, including Jared Leto's Joker from Suicide Squad. And Snyder recently explained why he felt so strongly about this bold choice.

The moviegoing public was shocked to hear that Jared Leto was involved in Snyder Cut reshoots, as the character wasn't originally meant to appear in Justice League. The first glimpse at Leto's Joker in the project was recently revealed, and it's in stark juxtaposition to the characterization seen in Suicide Squad. Zack Snyder opened up about why he brought Mr. J. to the Snyder Cut, saying:

The cool thing about the scene is that it’s Joker talking directly to Batman about Batman. It’s Joker analyzing Batman about who he is and what he is. That’s the thing I also felt like fans deserved from the DC Universe. That is to say, the Jared Leto Joker and the Ben Affleck Batman, they never really got together. It seemed uncool to me that we would make it all the way through this incarnation of Batman and Joker without seeing them come together.

Touche. Both Suicide Squad and Justice League were doing a ton of world-building, including the introduction of Batman and Joker. But we never actually got to see these characters paired, and it's unclear if we ever will in the main timeline of the DCEU. But at least they'll meet in the Snyder Cut, in a scene that certainly sounds intriguing.

Zack Snyder's comments to Vanity Fair help to peel back the curtain on the visionary filmmaker's unique process while working on the Snyder Cut. In addition to completing the project he originally set out to make, Snyder is also adding new concepts. It should be interesting to see how it all shakes out, especially regarding Jared Leto's Joker. Because after his absence in Birds of Prey and The Suicide Squad, it seemed like Leto might have left the role behind him.

The Snyder Cut will be available exclusively on HBO Max. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

Much like Justice League's theatrical cut, David Ayer's Suicide Squad also suffered from studio interference. The filmmaker has been open about this, claiming that the success of Deadpool resulted in a push for the DC blockbuster to become more comedic. In the end he claims Harley's story was "eviscerated" with much of Jared Leto's Joker was left on the cutting room floor. Add in Joaquin Phoenix's Oscar win for Joker, and it seemed like Leto might never return to the role. At least, until now.

In addition to providing an opportunity for Jared Leto's Joker and Ben Affleck's Batman to finally share the screen together, adding Jared Leto to the Snyder Cut also has the opportunity to answer a long-standing question in the DCEU. Namely, why did Batman have a Joker card on his rifle (yes rifle) during Batman v Superman's Knightmare Sequence? In the same interview Zack Snyder went on to confirm,

The scene explains why Bruce had the Joker card taped to his gun that you see in Batman v Superman.

So many questions to be answered, so little time. Luckily time doesn't seem to be an issue, as Zack Snyder's Justice League is expected to be around four hours long. The director was doing a ton of world-building for the DCEU, although many of those ideas have been dropped. We'll just have to see how popular the Snyder Cut is, and if that inspires Warner Bros. to follow through on any of those abandoned concepts.

The stakes are clearly high for the Snyder Cut to deliver. Since it's been years of waiting and anticipation, the project means a great deal to fans. What's more, it's a huge fiscal investment for HBO Max, as Zack Snyder was given millions for the necessary reshoots, editing, and visual effects. Luckily, we don't have to wait much longer.

Zack Snyder's Justice League is set to arrive on HBO Max on March 18th. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.