Jared Leto Returning as the Joker in 'Zack Snyder's Justice League'
Leto's Clown Prince of Crime will appear in 2021's Zack Snyder's Justice League after his interpretation of the Joker was seemingly left behind in Birds of Prey.
In an unprecedented turn of events, Jared Leto will be reprising his role as the Joker in HBO Max's "Snyder Cut" of Justice League next year. This news is unexpected, as his divisive performance in 2016's Suicide Squad and his absence from 2020's Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn led fans to believe that he would never return to the role.
Leto's interpretation of the character in Suicide Squad wasn't embraced by fans or critics, although many felt that he never really got a chance to make his mark as the Joker. Most of his footage was cut from the movie, with several scenes from the trailers being absent from the final cut. His role in the finished film was basically an extended cameo to further flesh out Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn. His behavior on the set of Suicide Squad also garnered controversy, as Leto remained in character for the entirety of filming and infamously sent grotesque gifts like used condoms, anal beads, dead pigs, and live rats to his costars.
While Leto was originally reported to be getting a solo Joker film as well as appearing in a Harley Quinn vs the Joker movie, both of those projects appeared to have stalled and joined the ranks of DC's 20+ films "in development" that are probably never going to see the light of day. He was also angry at Warner Bros. when he learned that Joaquin Phoenix would be starring in the Joker movie that was made in 2019, as Leto expected to be the only Joker onscreen for the next few years. The Joker didn't appear in Birds of Prey either, despite the film centering on his breakup Harley Quinn - instead, he was seen from the back in a flashback scene from Suicide Squad and was played by a stunt double in another scene.
Given the lengths that Warner Bros. and DC have gone to in order to move past Leto's incarnation, it's surprising to see that he's returning for the Snyder Cut. However, he was originally intended to be in Justice League, and perhaps his appearance could shed some more light on how the DCEU's Robin died. It would also be great to see him properly fight Ben Affleck's Batman. It's currently unknown how large of a role Jared Leto's Joker will have in Zack Snyder's Justice League, but hopefully Margot Robbie will also return to film some new scenes with him. Additional scenes are currently being filmed for the Snyder Cut, with Ben Affleck, Ray Fisher, and Amber Heard involved along with Leto.
While I'm interested in how the Snyder Cut is finally being released, I'm not sure how I feel about Leto returning. His Joker was definitely the worst interpretation of the character, he was useless in Suicide Squad, and Leto's actions on set were disgusting and out of line. I thought his Joker was weak and only worked because he relied on Harley Quinn. While no other movie Joker has had a Harley with them, I could see their characters working well with and without Harley, while I cannot see Leto's Joker working without her. That being said, I did enjoy his rapport with Harley in Suicide Squad, and I'm intrigued about how he fits into the Snyder Cut.
What do you think? Are you excited for Leto's return? Comment below!
Zack Snyder's Justice League will debut as a four-episode miniseries, exclusively on HBO Max, sometime in 2021.
Sources: The Hollywood Reporter and MTV