When you are an agent of chaos, what happens when the world you terrorize is a literal nightmare? I guess we will find out when actor Jared Leto reprises the role of the Joker in the highly anticipated “Snyder Cut” of Justice League. The 4 hour superhero epic which depicts the true, dark and gritty vision of the League from the mind of the franchise’s original director, Zack Snyder, will finally give fans the culmination to the DC Cinematic Universe that was built up in Man of Steel and then Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Warner Bros is hoping this cut of the film will erase the sour taste left behind by the Joss Whedon, Jon Berg, and Geoff Johns abomination of a film that left fans unhappy and average viewers unimpressed.
Now back to Leto’s Joker, this is the Joker as he appears (seen below) in Snyder’s Justice League, an entirely new element the filmmaker decided to add as he completed his original vision of the the DC Comics team-up.
Leto’s clown prince was not part of Snyder’s original plan before walking away from the movie in 2017 amid a clash with Warner Bros. leadership and grief over a family tragedy, but when HBO Max offered him the chance to finalize his own cut of the movie, the director had a few things he wanted to add to the long-awaited #Snydercut. Batman’s nemesis was one of them. “The Joker is really the only thing that I thought of in retrospect,” Snyder tells Vanity Fair. “But I will say that it was always my intention to bring Joker into that world.”
Per Vanity Fair:
Gone are the face tattoos and slicked-back emerald undercut hairstyle of that movie, replaced by a visage that looks like a creature who crawled out of the basement of a long-abandoned insane asylum. Maybe he did.
Leto is wearing a hospital gown and surgical mask in the photos Snyder released exclusively to Vanity Fair, which the director says is probably a remnant of his escape into the wild when the world fell. In some of his Justice League scenes, Leto’s Joker also sports a bulletproof vest festooned with grimy law enforcement badges. “He has tons of badges,” Snyder said. “Those are his trophies.”
(Spoiler warning) 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.
“The cool thing about the scene is that it’s Joker talking directly to Batman about Batman,” Snyder said. “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.”
Snyder already had a history devised in his head. “The scene explains why Bruce had the Joker card taped to his gun that you see in Batman v Superman,” the director says of his 2016 film, which also hinted that that Joker murdered the Caped Crusader’s sidekick by showing the absent Robin’s armor, spray-painted with “Ha Ha, Joke’s On You, Batman.”
“I’d always wanted to explore the death of Robin,” Snyder said. “And if there ever was going to be a next movie, which, of course, there probably won’t be, I wanted to do a thing where in flashbacks we learn how Robin died, how Joker killed him and burned down Wayne Manor, and that whole thing that happened between he and Bruce.”
The director’s plan was to show “how they became like this … how he hurt him in a way that no one has, really. Other than losing his parents, it was probably the most significant personal injury to his life.”
That’s the role this new Joker sequence will fulfill in Justice League. But those seeking continuity may have questions: What happened since we last saw this Joker in Ayers’ film? Is there tattoo removal in the apocalypse? “I would say that there’s been some water under the bridge. Who knows what’s happened,” Snyder said. “I don’t know if he’s wearing makeup, I don’t know what’s happening. It’s hard to say exactly.”
Now the new JL film keeps the same beats as the film we all saw but besides that it is a completely different film and the tone is not “Marvel-lite” like Whedon’s reshot version of the film. Like the theatrical release, Zack Snyder’s Justice League features an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa and Ray Fisher. The film follows the Justice League—Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg—as they attempt to save the world from the catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf, Darkseid and the demonic army of Parademons.
The Snyder Cut arrives March 18th, 2021 on HBO MAX.