We’ve just gotten a clearer look at Jared Leto‘s return to the Joker, and it might be the creepiest the character’s ever looked on the big screen. In a couple of black and white stills, we see the clown prince of crime in all his glory, and this time, he’s not sporting the tattoos or flashy outfits from his Suicide Squad appearance, and now he has long and messy hair. It begs the question: is this the same Joker?
“I would say that there’s been some water under the bridge. Who knows what’s happened,” Zack Snyder said in an interview with Vanity Fair. “I don’t know if he’s wearing makeup, I don’t know what’s happening. It’s hard to say exactly.” It seems as though Snyder just wanted to portray the character in his own way, rather than continuing with David Ayers‘ version. The director also gave an idea of what the Joker would be doing in his new 4-hour cut of Justice League, so consider this a spoiler warning.
According to Snyder, Joker will appear during a dream sequence experienced by Batman that reveals what will happen should the superheroes fail to stop the onslaught of the alien tyrant known as Darkseid.
“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.”
The Joker’s role in the new film will also fill in some of the holes in past DC films. “The scene explains why Bruce had the Joker card taped to his gun that you see in Batman v Superman,” Snyder said. That film hinted that that Joker murdered the Bat’s sidekick by showing Robin’s old armor, which was spray-painted with “Ha Ha, Joke’s On You, Batman.”
“I’d always wanted to explore the death of Robin,” said Snyder. “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.”
There seems to be a lot riding on this new iteration of the Joker. Fans will have to wait and see how everything plays out when Zack Snyder’s Justice League releases on HBO-Max March 18.