Note: This articles contains mild spoilers for Suicide Squad.
It’s been a bumpy week for Suicide Squad, the widely anticipated spectacle that features a rogue gallery of DC Comics’ most iconic and beloved villains. The reviews have been fairly brutal, fans immediately protested (even sparking an online petition against review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes), then the film rallied to outstanding early box office returns in Thursday night previews. One stake that may turn into an evolving story may involve the rebooted appearance from DC villain granddaddy The Joker in the movie. Or more so, the lack of his appearance in the finished product.
A major part of the long-gestating marketing plan for Suicide Squad involved actor Jared Leto‘s already infamous take on the iconic character – a part that in the past has been played by the likes of Jack Nicholson and the late Heath Ledger (in an iconic, Oscar-winning performance) – as well as the commitment of sorts from the Oscar winning Dallas Buyers Club actor brought to the project. Funny thing is (and read no further if you want to keep the Suicide Squad viewing experience a surprise) that Leto is barely in the film at all. Leto’s screen time is limited a best (less than 15 minutes), a role that Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers described as “a glorified cameo.” Leto spoke to IGN regarding his screen time in the finished film and more than implied that many of his scenes were cut from Suicide Squad. Leto said when asked about reported cut scenes:
That’s a good question. I have no idea. I think he probably went and had a drink or something. Stretched – once you get blown up in a helicopter your muscles get a little tight.
Were there any that didn’t get cut? I’m asking you, were there any that didn’t get cut? There were so many scenes that got cut from the movie, I couldn’t even start. I think that the Joker… we did a lot of experimentation on the set, we explored a lot. There’s so much that we shot that’s not in the film.
If I die anytime soon, it’s probably likely that it’ll surface somewhere. That’s the good news about the death of an actor is all that stuff seems to come out.
Director David Ayer suggests that a cut of Suicide Squad featuring nearly 10 minutes of deleted scenes may be unearthed eventually, perhaps when the film hits Blu-Ray. Yet he seemingly remains coy on whether or not they feature more of Leto’s The Joker.