Not long after Man of Steel was released, it became pretty evident that Batman was the DC superhero Zack Snyder really wanted to get his hands on. Obviously, though, when he was first announced to be directing the Superman reboot, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises had yet to arrive, and Snyder didn’t want to step on any toes.
A month after Man of Steel hit theaters, a sequel was announced, but shortly afterwards it was confirmed that we’d be getting Batman v Superman instead of a direct follow-up. For reasons unknown, a second solo outing for Henry Cavill’s Kryptonian has never been a high priority for Warner Bros., but Ben Affleck proved himself to be a solid Dark Knight regardless.
Of course, you can’t have Batman without the Joker being too far behind, especially when he was teased in Dawn of Justice‘s Batcave, but once the trajectory of the DCEU changed significantly, it looked as though the interactions between Affleck’s Caped Crusader and Jared Leto’s Clown Prince of Crime would be limited to a brief scene in Suicide Squad.
Luckily, then, the success of the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut campaign changed all of that, and the two icons will finally share some meaningful screen time in Justice League, with Snyder admitting in a recent interview that it was always his intention for the DCEU’s canonical archenemies to cross paths.
“The Joker is really the only thing that I thought of in retrospect. But I will say that it was always my intention to bring Joker into that world.”
The first images of Leto back in character have already made it clear that Justice League‘s Joker isn’t going to be the same as his Suicide Squad counterpart, and a positive reception to his second bite at the apple could yet see the actor invited back into the fold on a more permanent basis, while a solo movie for Affleck still hasn’t been definitively taken off the table.