Zack Snyder’s Justice League is essentially one very long and very expensive fan film, with the director reaping the rewards of a two and a half year campaign that finally bore fruit. The filmmaker has been handed the complete creative control that Warner Bros. and DC Films have been reticent to give over to any of their talent, and he’s grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
Not only is the Snyder Cut twice as long as the dismal theatrical release at four hours and change, but additional footage has added the Joker into the mix. Of course, Jared Leto’s Clown Prince of Crime wasn’t part of Snyder’s first attempt at Justice League, but in a new interview, the 300 and Watchmen director illuminated how the iconic villain fits into the story.
Unsurprisingly, it involves a face to face with Ben Affleck’s Batman, and Snyder explained how the Joker wound up in Justice League 2.0, and the dynamic between the two comic book legends within the context of the narrative.
“The cool thing about the scene is that it’s Joker talking directly to Batman about Batman. 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 director also confirmed that the Joker will be a key part of the extended Knightmare sequence, where Darkseid taking over the world has led to the Jester of Genocide escaping his incarceration, finally paying off a tease from Batman v Superman in the process.
“The scene explains why Bruce had the Joker card taped to his gun that you see in Batman v Superman. I’d always wanted to explore the death of Robin. 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.”
It sounds as though we’ll be getting flashbacks, modern day scenes and Knightmare footage of Leto’s Joker, which is an awful lot to cram into four or five minutes of footage, but with a butt-numbing running time, at least the Snyder Cut of Justice League has plenty of room to tell its story the second time out, after previously being butchered in the edit suite under orders from the studio to keep it to two hours or less.