One of the more well-known characters being featured in Suicide Squad, is Batman’s arch-nemesis, The Joker. Played by Jared Leto, this is the Clown Prince of Crime’s fourth live action theatrical appearance, following behind Caesar Romero, Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger. Although he’s not Suicide Squad’s main antagonist, the movie’s promotional material suggested moviegoers would see a decent amount of the villain throughout the story, but according to Jared Leto, a lot of what was shot with him won’t actually be seen in theaters.
While promoting Suicide Squad in the UK, Leto told Telestar (via Batman-News) that many of his Joker scenes were cut from the final cut of the movie. In his words:
There are a lot of scenes that didn’t make it to the final film. Hopefully they will see the light of day. Who knows?
While some of the early reviews out have mentioned how Joker doesn’t get nearly as much screen time as the other main characters, this comment will no doubt prove disappointing to fans looking forward to Leto’s performance. Suicide Squad’s theatrical runtime is a few minutes over two hours, so taking out some of his moments must have been how the crew cut the movie down to something more manageable. Hopefully some, if not all, of his deleted scenes will be included on the Blu-ray/digital release.
Still, we knew from practically the start that Joker wouldn’t be the most prominent of the featured Suicide Squad players. His presence is centers around Squad member Harley Quinn, as moviegoers will see how he corrupted her, their chaotic shenanigans together and his attempt to reunite with her while she’s on her mission with the other criminals. Much like Batman, Jared Leto’s Joker has been around for many years in the DC Extended Universe and has built up quite a reputation, from being a feared gang boss to killing Robin.
Fortunately for Jared Leto, it’s unlikely Suicide Squad will be his only time playing The Joker. There’s a new Batman movie on the way, and while that doesn’t guarantee he’ll be the main antagonist, it would give him a more direct opportunity to face off against Ben Affleck’s Caped Crusader. There’s also been talk about Suicide Squad 2, and if Harley Quinn is brought back for the sequel, maybe they’ll try to squeeze “Mistah J” into her life again. Joker is one of the most famous comic book super villains in pop culture, and with the DCEU still young, if there’s an opportunity for him to play a role in a story, they’d be wise to use him to draw in both longtime comic book fans and casual viewers. That said, maybe Leto should tone it down on the method acting next time around.
You can see Jared Leto’s Joker in action when Suicide Squad is released on Friday.