The depiction of The Joker in the highly anticipated DC Extended Universe film Suicide Squad proved to be something of a bone of contention when the movie was released in 2016. The character, as played by Academy Award winner Jared Leto, was heavily promoted during the production process, with images, anecdotes about on-set ‘method’ antics, and a heavy presence in the trailers – but, in the final analysis, the role of the Clown Prince of Crime constituted little more than a bit-part in the larger story. Though he loomed large as a legend, and remotely impacted the course of events in the tale, he was notable in his absence for the majority of the movie, and barely encountered Batman.
It was not just fans that were disappointed by this turn of events, though – Leto himself also expressed frustration, which is hardly surprising considering the lengths to which he clearly went to deliver a new and terrifying version of this well-known character. That’s why people sat up and paid attention when Jared Leto recently posted some Joker-based artwork on his Instagram page.
The photo doesn’t appear to be attributed to a specific artist, but seems to have been ‘liked’ and re-posted by the actor from a Joker fan page. The original posting is clearly visible on their page (along with – in a later posting – their excitement at being re-posted by Leto) – but the fact that the actor has posted an image showing his Joker holding a knife to the throat of Batman means speculation has kicked into high gear regardless.
Given that the original posting came from a Joker fan page, the most likely explanation is that Leto’s posting of this picture is in reference to nothing much of anything at all, other than the fact that he just happened to come across it, and thought it was worth sharing. But, even if that is the case (and particularly since Leto re-posted it, accompanied by a question mark), it does focus attention on the question of the future of Leto’s Joker within the franchise.
The DCEU is rapidly expanding beyond its core Justice League thread – with additional scheduled films now including The Batman, Batgirl, Nightwing, Gotham City Sirens, and of course, Suicide Squad 2. With all of these films heading into production – and assuming that the studio agrees with the fact that it would be impossible to have a DC universe without The Joker being included – there are three possibilities for his future involvement. Firstly, we know that momentum on The Batman is picking up, now that director Matt Reeves is at the helm. Given that the Instagram image includes Batman, could it be that this will be the film that will feature The Joker more heavily – in addition to Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke?
Secondly, and beyond The Batman, The Joker could legitimately play a part in any of those additional planned movies – because the source material has him involved with each of the titular characters separately. Could it be that The Joker will be included in a small way across the DCEU – not unlike Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? That’s a big commitment from an actor that was vocally disappointed with the editing of his performance in Suicide Squad, but who knows?
The third possibility is absolutely the most exciting. Could it be that DC and Warner Bros are considering adding a Joker solo film to their slate? Jared Leto seems to be enamoured of the character, and the sharing of this picture might well be an opportunistic attempt on his part to sway the jury, as it were. This would be an excellent step on the part of the studio, in that a solo Joker origin story has never really been attempted in mainstream, live-action cinema before, and certainly not with an actor of the calibre of Jared Leto.
Whatever the case may be, it certainly appears that Jared Leto has yet to let go of The Joker, and that’s just fine if it means that we get to see more of The Clown Prince on the big screen. A Joker movie would be a dream come true, but any time this icon of pop culture surfaces in a story, it’s always a worthwhile endeavour.
Source: Screen Rant