Jared Leto’s take on the Joker in 2016’s Suicide Squad was a mixed bag. On the one hand, he did embody certain elements of what we’ve come to expect from the Clown Prince of Crime in both the insanity and pure evil part. But the look he brought, plus the character’s more mafioso style, did rub some fans the wrong way. Part of that could be set to change though with Leto’s Joker apparently getting something of a makeover.
With Zack Snyder heavy into reshoots for his version of Justice League, Jared Leto has already been cast to reprise his role in the film/series. Whether this was to save some face after Joaquin Phoenix took over the role in Joker or if Snyder sees the Leto version more in line with the DC movies (considering he’s been there before) isn’t exactly clear. But we are definitely going to get the Suicide Squad character back in the mix. Last we saw him he was “rescuing” Harley Quinn from Belle Reve and ready to add a little more chaos to the mix.
For the reshoots of Justice League, Jared Leto’s Joker will appear in at least two scenes (maybe three). They could include flashbacks to his run-ins with Robin as well as a scene in Arkham Asylum. Where the new look for Jared Leto could come is in a scene set to project out into the future on a possible alternate timeline. Rumors have Joker with much longer hair and no tattoos as a part of the Knightmare timeline. This would stand in stark contrast to the green, combed-back hair and full-body tats we saw on the dude in Suicide Squad. Some of those tattoos included a “HAHAHA”, a dead Robin, and a Bat logo with a knife in it.
This alternate timeline appeared briefly in the original Justice League but was other-worldly confusing. It involved a desert-themed Batman fighting a set of Superman’s hench-things in a world where the latter had taken over and reigned supreme over Earth. The scene had little build-up and ultimately landed as confusing and misplaced. The reshoots supposedly will extend the background on this timeline and will include Jared Leto’s Joker as part of a future in which he’s more powerful.
Jared Leto wasn’t exactly a hit with his fellow actors and actresses in the first go-around as Joker. He went full method, embodying the character both on and off set. He sent cast and staff members things like used condoms and live rats as “gifts” and also apparently did a Clockwork Orange-type thing to himself by watching brutal and violent scenes to get in the right headspace.
So I suppose it’s a testament to either the original vision of the story or Leto’s acting chops in general that he’s invited back the continuation and refilming of the movie. There’s for sure still a diabolical and twisted character there that could prove more crucial to the story if done correctly.
The Zack Snyder version of Justice League still has a ways to go before it hits screens. The release date isn’t until September 5, 2021 and it will appear in four, one-hour sections on HBO Max. That means we won’t be rushing through story arcs and scenes. By all accounts, the original vision was a true winner and with villains like Jared Leto’s Joker added to the mix, we know the League will be fighting evil on a number of different fronts.