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StreamingWhy Director James Gunn Didn’t Want Joker in The Suicide Squad

Why Director James Gunn Didn’t Want Joker in The Suicide Squad

Jared Leto’s Joker didn’t appear in The Suicide Squad, and now writer/director James Gunn explains why he left Batman’s villain out of the movie.

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The Suicide Squad director James Gunn explains why he didn’t want to include Joker. The Clown Prince of Crime joined the DC Extended Universe back in 2016 when Jared Leto appeared in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. Despite minimal screentime, the look of Leto’s Joker became quite divisive, as did Ayer’s movie. This led Warner Bros. and DC Films to move in a different direction with the franchise’s future, which included bringing Gunn into the fold for a sequel/reboot.

Due to the response to Jared Leto’s Joker, his DCEU future became incredibly murky. Audiences last saw him in the main DCEU continuity freeing Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) from prison at the end of Suicide Squad, but Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) confirmed the couple’s breakup. There were reports that WB and DC were interested in a Joker solo movie starring Leto – even after Joaquin Phoenix’s – but that project hasn’t gained any traction. Some hoped that Joker would once again be in The Suicide Squad, but James Gunn left him out of the movie.


Related: John Cena’s Empanadas Are The Suicide Squad’s Answer To Leto’s Joker Pranks

It’s been months since The Suicide Squad’s release, and Gunn’s DCEU movie received great reviews. In a new interview with Desde Hollywood (via Comicbook), the writer/director again addressed the decision to leave Joker out of the movie. He cites the excellent work others have done in adapting Joker and wanting to elevate obscure characters as reasons why The Suicide Squad didn’t feature the Joker. Read his full quote below:

There’s all sorts of other characters I’m interested in doing. Joker isn’t really one of them. He’s been done well so many times by so many people. I am much more interested in taking characters who haven’t fully had their shot, or people who I [connect with].

Suicide Squad Jared Leto as Joker

James Gunn’s explanation for why Joker isn’t in The Suicide Squad makes perfect sense. He either would’ve had to potentially reinvent Jared Leto’s Joker or recast him for the DCEU’s future, and either option would still draw comparisons to other versions of Joker. While Gunn could’ve helped create another great iteration of Batman’s iconic villain, he instead had much more freedom focusing on lesser-known characters. As a result, the likes of Peacemaker (John Cena), Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), King Shark (Sylvester Stallone), and Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian) became popular characters in pop culture.

Based on Gunn’s thoughts about Joker, fans shouldn’t expect him to appear in future DC projects he’s involved with either. Joker wouldn’t fit with Peacemaker based on what is known about the HBO Max DC series. WB and DC haven’t confirmed that Gunn will return to direct a sequel to The Suicide Squad, but it is expected to happen eventually. When it does, fans probably shouldn’t hold out hope for a Joker appearance there either.

More: Other DC Villain Movies James Gunn Could Do After Suicide Squad

Source: Desde Hollywood (via Comicbook)

  • The Batman (2022)Release date: Mar 04, 2022
  • DC League of Super-Pets (2022)Release date: May 20, 2022
  • Black Adam (2022)Release date: Jul 29, 2022
  • The Flash (2022)Release date: Nov 04, 2022
  • Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2022)Release date: Dec 16, 2022
  • Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)Release date: Jun 02, 2023

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