Jared Leto is back for one last laugh.
It’s been nearly five years since the versatile actor first flashed that distinctive grin in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. Since then, we’ve seen Joaquin Phoenix take on the iconic villain in 2019’s unrelated—and Oscar-winning—Joker movie, the Joker-starring “Death in the Family” storyline was revisited as an interactive animated movie, and the character has returned with a vengeance to the world of comics in Batman: Three Jokers and Batman: The Joker War. One place the Joker didn’t make his clown-colored mark was in 2017’s Justice League. However, he’s back and once again embodied by Leto in Zack Snyder’s upcoming new cut of the movie, which debuts on HBO Max on March 18th.
In a first look feature in Vanity Fair, Snyder reveals that Zack Snyder’s Justice League’s new Joker sequence wasn’t originally something he’d envisioned for the movie when he shot it several years ago, but that came to him when he learned he’d be able to release his director’s cut of the film.
“The Joker is really the only thing that I thought of in retrospect,” Snyder shares. “But I will say that it was always my intention to bring Joker into that world.”
Realizing that Zack Snyder’s Justice League is likely the last chance he’d have to bring Leto’s Joker in conflict with Ben Affleck’s Batman, Snyder requested additional filming to add him to the movie. The end result is a concise, but powerful sequence that brings the two adversaries head-to-head in a unique way.
“The cool thing about the scene is that it’s Joker talking directly to Batman about Batman,” Snyder reveals. “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.”
While Zack Snyder’s Justice League’s Clown Prince is once again embodied by Leto, as you can see in the two revealed images, he looks pretty different. Gone are the tattoos and gangster aesthetic, replaced instead—at least in these two images—with a more haunted look. This Joker looks dangerous, and clearly psychotic, suggesting we have no idea what to expect from him when he returns to the screen.
As if we’d have it any other way.
For much more about the return of Leto’s Joker, as well as further details about his appearance in Zack Snyder’s Justice League and what Snyder’s original plans were for Batman and the Joker, be sure to check out the Vanity Fair piece. But before you do, drop by the DC Community to let us know what you think of these new images. Are you ready for Leto’s grin to once again haunt our dreams?
Zack Snyder’s Justice League debuts on HBO Max on March 18th. Not yet a member? Click here and save 20% on your first six months.