Zack Snyder has released the first look of Jared Leto’s newly-reimagined Joker in his updated vision of Justice League, ahead of the film’s release in March 2021 on HBO Max.
Leto looks completely different from his first go-round in 2016’s Suicide Squad from director David Ayer as gone are the slicked-back emerald hairstyle and face tattoos or those shiny teeth fixtures. They’re replaced, essentially, by cuts and scars, bringing the vibe more in line with Christopher Nolan’s Joker from the Dark Knight Trilogy, a role which won an Oscar for actor Heath Ledger, especially with the long hair and messy red “smile”, sporting a hospital gown. Leto looks like a “visage that looks like a creature who crawled out of the basement of a long-abandoned insane asylum.”
Seems like the only thing this Joker clings onto are the face makeup and his infallible lunacy. This is the biggest add-on to the director’s cut of Justice League as the Joker has been a quintessential comic book villain and overtime, received multiple new versions and iterations, but rarely do audiences see the same actor play two different versions of the Joker.
Though the Joker was not in Snyder’s original plans, he jumped at the chance of a Joker revival when HBO Max offered him the chance to finalize his own cut of the film. Snyder recently said in an interview with Vanity Fair, “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.”
In the first-look images, Leto wears a stained hospital gown, which according to Snyder, is from the “remnants of his escape into the wild when the world fell.” The director also hints at Leto’s Joker sporting a bulletproof vest fully-adorned with law enforcement badges, which will become an important artifact of the film. “He has tons of badges. Those are his trophies,” said Snyder.
Spoilers for Zack Snyder’s Justice League below:
Joker appears in the new film during a sequence set on a ruined Earth after the alien tyrant Darkseid invades and decimates the planet. It’s a dream sequence, a psychic vision, experienced by Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne that reveals what will happen if the superheroes fail to stop the onslaught. Joker is sort of the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, supplying motivation through terror.
“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,” said the filmmaker.
The highly-anticipated four-hour Justice League: The Snyder Cut comes out on HBO Max on 18 March 2021.