THE SUICIDE SQUAD Director James Gunn Reveals Why Jared Leto's Joker Won't Appear In The Movie

THE SUICIDE SQUAD Director James Gunn Reveals Why Jared Leto's Joker Won't Appear In The Movie

During a recent Q&A, The Suicide Squad director James Gunn confirmed that The Joker won't be making an appearance in his sequel/reboot and offers an explanation as to why that is. Read on for details...

It's no secret that Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has made some rather insulting remarks about Oscar-winner Jared Leto in the past, so it's fair to say that none of us expected Joker to make an appearance in The Suicide Squad

The Clown Prince of Crime served as an antagonist of sorts to Task Force X in Suicide Squad, but with Harley Quinn set to break up with her Puddin' in Birds of Prey, (which will probably be the last we see of him as it appears a stand-in has been hired to play the character based on set photos) Gunn makes a compelling argument for why there's no need for the villain to factor into this sequel.

"No one but me and a few others know all the characters in the movie, but if the Joker isn't in the film, I don't think it would be strange as he isn't a part of the Suicide Squad in the comics," Gunn revealed during a recent Instagram Q&A. The filmmaker is essentially confirming there that The Joker won't appear, and that honestly shouldn't come as too much of a surprise to fans.

It remains to be seen whether Leto will ever reprise the role of The Joker on the big screen, but it seems highly unlikely, especially as he was upset by Warner Bros.' decision to move forward with Joker.

How do you guys feel about the Harlequin of Hate not appearing in The Suicide Squad

Talking of Joker, hit the "View List" button below to check
out everything we think did and didn't work in the movie!

Did Work: Batman's Origin Story


As well as serving as an origin story for the Clown Prince of Crime, Joker also offers a slightly different take on the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne. They still go to watch Zorro with their young son and they're still gunned down in an alleyway, but there are some key differences.

For starters, the killer wears a clown mask and repeats Arthur's words when he tells Thomas, "You get what you f***ing deserve." Bruce is then left standing there, covered in blood, and knowing that the man who came to his home just days before believing that they were brothers is responsible for starting an uprising that will change his life, and Gotham City, forever.

Needless to say, this is bound to create a much darker version of Batman. 

Did Work: That Haunting Score


Hildur Guðnadóttir is responsible for Joker's mesmerising score, and it's fair to say that it most definitely deserves to be recognised at next year's Academy Awards. Like all truly great scores, it enhances what we see on screen and the way music is used to build tension (during that talk show scene, for example) is truly amazing. 

The highlight, however, comes when Arthur is dancing in that bathroom shortly after gunning down the three Wall Street guys on the subway. 

What could have been a silly and goofy scene instead comes across as extremely compelling and deeply fascinating. Guðnadóttir's work in Joker is unforgettable, and she's now a composer whose work in Hollywood will be absolutely essential to follow. 

Didn't Work: Gotham City's Inept Police Department


Arthur is very briefly questioned after the police find him at the hospital, but they fail to take him in for questioning and even after his mother dies under suspicious circumstances, they just pursue him via the telephone.

Now, you have to believe his co-worker reported both the murder in his apartment and what he said about Murray Franklin, but after shouting at him from the top of a flight of stairs, they fail to catch him and end up in the ICU as a result. These two bozos are no Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock, that's for sure. 

While it serves the story that they don't take Arthur into custody at any point, it's a little too convenient and something that winds up being a tad distracting as a result. A minor flaw, but a flaw nonetheless! 

Did Work: Arthur's Love Of Dancing (Surprisingly)


Heading into Joker, many of us had our doubts about these scenes of Arthur dancing around the place. It looked pretty bizarre in the trailers, and isn't something most fans associate with the iconic Batman bad guy.

Well, while it could have easily ended up being one of the most cringe-worthy and ridiculous parts of this DC Comics adaptation, Arthur's love of dance actually serves to enhance the character, and whether it's the scene in his living room as he pretends to be talking to someone about what a good dancer he is or him busting some moves down those steps, it all works really well.

This is all part of Arthur's damaged psyche, and makes him an even more fascinating creation.

Did Work: The Rise Of The Joker


Joker is obviously an original tale and creates a brand new origin story for the Clown Prince of Crime. However, thanks to some stellar storytelling, Arthur Fleck's transformation into this villain feels earned and by the time he smears that bloody smile across his face, it truly does feel like he's become The Joker we all know and hate from the source material. 

Arthur clearly realises that his actions have broken Gotham City and inspired an uprising. Despite that, he still doesn't care about the political side of things and instead seems to want to watch the world burn in order to make it pay for the way it's treated him. 

If a sequel were to happen somewhere down the line, it's easy to picture Joker causing chaos for the sake of chaos, just like his comic book counterpart. Considering how grounded in reality this movie is, the fact that Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix get Arthur to this place after evening that's happened is downright amazing. 

Did Work: It Embraces That R-Rating In The Right Way


Many movies (including Todd Phillips' Hangover trilogy) use an R-Rating as little more than an excuse to drop countless, repetitive, and often unfunny F-Bombs. Then, you have movies that take violence to ridiculous levels, splashing blood across the screen so often that it looks like someone has dropped a tin of paint! 

Joker finds the right balance, though, using violent moments to shock viewers and language in a way that ensures it has a real impact when Arthur tells Murray Franklin that, "You get what you f***ing deserve!"

Joker is definitely not suitable for younger moviegoers and even a thick skinned adult may find some of what is seen and talked about here hard to stomach. That's no bad, thing, though, especially when this is one comic book movie you know will end up leaving a lasting impact. 

Didn't Work: Not Enough Joker


Arthur doesn't really "become" The Joker until the final act, and we only really get to spend time with that side of him as he flees from the police and when he later appears on Franklin Murray's talk show. Honestly, it's just nowhere near enough.

The journey to get to this point is extremely satisfying and Joaquin Phoenix's transformation is stunning, so it almost feels ungrateful to complain that we don't get to see more of "Joker," but this movie really might have benefited from spending a little more time following him after he embraces that persona rather than almost making it a one-off for his TV appearance.

With any luck, a follow-up will happen one day, because exploring Arthur Fleck as Joker would be a lot of fun and something very different to what we've seen on the big screen before now.

Did Work: Some Awesome Ambiguity


Ambiguity in movies can often be a good thing...or a very bad thing. In Joker's case, it's most definitely the former because we're left with an awful lot to think about after the credits roll.
For example, did that photo with Thomas Wayne's initials on the back confirm Penny's story that they really did have an affair and that Arthur Fleck is actually Bruce's half-brother? It's entirely possible, and that's disturbing in a lot of ways and paints Batman's father in a very different light.
We also don't know how much of what we see is real and imaginary, while it's interesting that Arthur's involuntary laughter has gone by the time the film ends. What do you think that means?

Didn't Work: The Female Cast Don't Get Much To Do


Frances Conroy is great as Arthur's deranged mother Penny, but she's also somewhat one-dimensional and we never really get to delve into her own mental problems or receive much more than a surface look at her rather odd relationship with her son. As for Zazie Beetz's Sophie, she never really gets to show her talent and is often little more than a background extra.

In terms of the story, that does work, and it could have been distracting for her to have a larger presence (there's also no denying that the twist regarding her character is very well handled). 

However, overall, Joker definitely doesn't do its female cast justice. Perhaps that's for the best as this entire movie really does belong to Joaquin Phoenix, and no one was ever going to deliver a performance on par with his. This is another minor niggle but one definitely worth addressing. 

Did Work: No Post-Credits Scene


We all love a good post-credits scene and the Marvel Studios movies have made them essential viewing for moviegoers of all types. However, Joker definitely makes the right decision by not going down that route despite there being any number of possibilities given the way the movie ends. 

They could have shown Bruce Wayne standing at his parents grave as a bat swoops by or even the Clown Prince of Crime managing to escape from the hospital, but that would have arguably cheapened the entire film. 

The film climaxing with "The End" caption feels right, and while a sequel would be amazing, there's really no need to make this anything more than a standalone tale for the time being. For now, we're just left to imagine what might have become of characters like Arthur Fleck and Bruce Wayne in this world. 
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