Zack Snyder’s Justice League Joker Is Here, and He’s Undamaged

What does tattoo removal surgery cost in the post-apocalypse?
What does tattoo removal surgery cost in the post-apocalypse?
Photo: Zack Snyder/Warner Bros.

... Huh.

We’ve known for a while that Zack Snyder’s revived Smörgåsbord of a Justice League cut would somehow find the time in its gargantuan runtime to throw in a bit of Jared Leto’s Joker for good measure, but now, we have our first look at him in...well, not so much action, because he’s sitting there looking miserable, which seems to be the extent of what we’ve seen about Snyder’s Justice League so far.

But! He’s quite different from the Joker we saw Leto play in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad.

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Revealed on social media today, the Joker was not originally in Snyder’s plans for Justice League before the director tragically left the film in the wake of a death in the family. When given the chance by Warner Bros. to actually make a new version of Justice League, however—and realizing that whatever original plans he would’ve had for future DC movies beyond Justice League are not the direction the DC movieverse is now going in—Snyder saw the chance to indulge, and incorporate some of his own ideas for the Dark Knight and the Clown Prince of Crime into the new cut.

Joker appears in a scene that we eventually saw a version of in Joss Whedon’s version of the movie: a nightmarish vision of catastrophe to come experienced by Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne of an Earth devastated by Darkseid.

“The cool thing about the scene is that it’s Joker talking directly to Batman about Batman,” Snyder told Vanity Fair. “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.”

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Which is, essentially, why this “new” Joker looks very different to the infamously tattooed, short-haired Joker we met in Suicide Squad, and more like...a strange amalgam between Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker, Jared Leto, and The Crow? Snyder wouldn’t elucidate on why the Joker’s missing his literal body of work but did add that aside from the medical smock he’s wearing, the Joker’s costume includes a bulletproof vest filled with the badges of cops he’s killed, so make of that what you will.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League releases on HBO Max March 18.

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James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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The more I learn, the more intrigued I am about who the fuck thought greenlighting this abomination thought it was a good idea...