James Gunn, the director of The Suicide Squad, reveals why he didn’t want to include the Joker:
James Gunn, the director of The Suicide Squad, reveals why he didn’t want to include the Joker. When Jared Leto appeared in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad in 2016, he was introduced to the DC Extended Universe as the Clown Prince of Crime. Despite having little screen time, Leto’s Joker’s appearance, as well as Ayer’s film, were highly polarizing. This prompted Warner Bros. and DC Films to take a fresh approach to the franchise’s future, which included getting Gunn on board for a sequel/reboot. Because of the reaction to Jared Leto’s Joker, his DCEU future has become quite hazy. Audiences last saw him in the regular DCEU chronology at the conclusion of Suicide Squad, when he freed Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) from prison, but Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) revealed the couple’s split. There were indications that WB and DC were interested in a Joker solo film starring Leto – even after Joaquin Phoenix’s – but that project never got off the ground. Some thought that the Joker might appear in The Suicide Squad again, but director James Gunn chose not to include him.
It’s been months since the premiere of The Suicide Squad, and Gunn’s DCEU film has gotten great reviews:
It’s been months since the premiere of The Suicide Squad, and Gunn’s DCEU film has earned rave reviews. In a new interview with Desde Hollywood (via Comicbook), the writer/director discussed the choice to leave the Joker out of the film once more. He cites the tremendous job done by others in adapting the Joker as well as his desire to elevate unknown characters as reasons why the Joker was not included in The Suicide Squad. Read the whole of his quote below:
I’m interested in a variety of other roles. The Joker isn’t one of them. He’s been done excellently by a plethora of folks. I’m far more interested in taking on characters that haven’t gotten their due, or individuals with whom I connect.
The following is James Gunn’s reasoning for why the Joker isn’t in The Suicide Squad:
The reason given by James Gunn for why the Joker isn’t in The Suicide Squad makes perfect sense. He’d have had to either reimagine Jared Leto’s Joker or recast him for the DCEU’s future, and both options would have drawn similarities to past iterations of the Joker. While Gunn might have helped build another excellent rendition of Batman’s famous nemesis, he chose to focus on lesser-known characters instead. As a consequence, popular characters such as Peacemaker (John Cena), Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), King Shark (Sylvester Stallone), and Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian) emerged. Based on Gunn’s opinions on the Joker, fans should not anticipate him featuring in any future DC productions in which he is involved. Based on what is known about the HBO Max DC series, the Joker would not work with Peacemaker. WB and DC have not announced that Gunn will return to film a sequel to The Suicide Squad, but it is believed to happen in the near future. When it occurs, fans should probably not hold out hope for a Joker appearance.