2016 is turning into an immensely busy year for DC Films’ and Warner Bros. Pictures. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has made its highly anticipated bow in cinemas, Suicide Squad is finally ready for release, and filming is underway on their biggest feature to date; Justice League. Fans are seeing this movie as DC’s answer to The Avengers, and the film has the entire future of a franchise resting on its wide shoulders. To say Justice League is garnering a lot of critical attention because of this factor is a slight understatement.
Justice League will feature the biggest roster of characters ever featured in a DC Extended Universe movie. Batman and Wonder Woman are heading up the superhero blockbuster, and debuts are planned for The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman after their sharp teasers in Batman v Superman. Aside from the plethora of heroes on display, we’re also expected to see Lois Lane, Commissioner Gordon, and Lex Luthor in key appearances. With this array of A-list talent on display, you’d be happy to think that Justice League is packed enough, but this may not be the case. Another potential role has recently come to light this week, via multiple rumours on the world wide web.
As many will know, Jared Leto has a heavy social media presence, and the Oscar-winning actor was recently spotted returning from London, which happens to be the location of Justice League‘s filming. The actor documented his trip with various mentions on his social media sites, and now has fans in a frenzy about his intentions on this trip, which raises the hot question of whether the Joker will appear in Justice League.
Jared Leto’s internet-breaking portrayal of Batman’s worst enemy will make its first appearance in Suicide Squad, which is due for release next month. Batman will feature in the movie during a cameo, to link the Squad members to the DC Extended Universe, but does that mean the Joker will do the same in turn? This is strictly rumor at the moment, but Just Jared posted images of Leto arriving at LAX airport after a trip to London. To add credence to the whispers, Leto himself documented his trip to the city with pictures in the capital, using his Twitter and Snapchat profiles to further tease the fans. Fans immediately put the two together and now believe that Leto was in London to film some scenes for Justice League. Rumor it may be, but the timing of the trip, and the subtle tease via social media, seems a little too convenient.
Hello London! pic.twitter.com/DPcAGWXbUd
— JARED LETO (@JaredLeto) June 29, 2016
Much like Batman in Suicide Squad, the short duration of his trip hints at a mere cameo, possibly to connect Justice League to the currently untitled solo Batman movie. Where the possibilities of a Joker cameo are endless — imagine the Clown Prince of Crime watching Batman’s exploits from his cell in Arkham Asylum? — it’s still only rumour, and may just be a happy coincidence. Still, with heavy hints that the Joker will feature in the next Batman movie, and a lot riding on the success of Justice League, it could be a clever coup for DC and Warner Bros. Pictures. Social media is a clever tool for promotion in the modern world — does this explain Leto’s riddle-like posts?
As mentioned, it could mean nothing, and actors are always spotted near film sets in the recent technological age, where a camera or Instagram account are always just inches away, waiting to create a story. Jared Leto could have just been there for a casual trip, or to watch the film being shot in preparation for a future role in another movie. It’s not uncommon for actors of a massive franchise to stop by and watch filming on other movies in the canon. Either way, the rumors are likely to sizzle until the real facts are revealed.
So, will the Joker appear in Justice League? It could go either way. On the one hand, Justice League is already packed, and has to establish Aquaman and his home of Atlantis, not to mention his fellow League members, Cyborg and The Flash. Yes, each hero will eventually get their own movie to build on their origin story, but these characters need time to shine for the audience who came to see them, especially Aquaman, who has always been treated with trepidation by the DC fans. It’s an ensemble movie, a key one for DC and Warner, so pushing the main characters will be their main priority. For this reason, a cameo for the Joker might just work.
On the other hand, little is known about the main protagonist of the film, Steppenwolf, who will be making his cinematic debut. Darkseid’s uncle is expected to incur the wrath of Aquaman and Wonder Woman during Justice League, when he invades their home territories of Atlantis and Themyscira, respectively. His mission will be to find the three Mother Boxes, which also brings Cyborg into the fold, since one of the boxes was used to repair his critical injuries prior to becoming the character. With this bringing the Justice League together, again, a cameo could work, but DC and Warner will want to focus on their new nemesis, one who could cause some serious trouble for the group of superheroes.
If the Joker were to make an appearance in his usual way — bold, brash and highly unpredictable — it could be too much for the audience. The Justice League is full of interesting characters, and the fans will be expecting something new. On this note, the Joker and his unique screen presence should be saved for another movie, and are deserving of something more than a cameo. Besides, Warner Bros. Pictures will want to save his psychopathic escapades for the solo Batman movie. If the hints in Batman v Superman are anything to go by, Bruce Wayne’s alter-ego will certainly have his hands full with his arch-nemesis in the next film, should he make an appearance.
Either way, the future of the DC Extended Universe looks bright. Regardless of whether Jared Leto appears in Justice League or not, his future with the franchise — many will expect — is only just beginning. Will he be the first actor to play the Joker on more than one occasion? Only time will tell, but with Suicide Squad‘s anticipated release just around the corner, and the film predicted to be a huge hit, expect the future will become clear very soon.
Directed by Zack Snyder, and starring Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller, and Jason Momoa, Justice League is scheduled for release on November 17, 2017.
[Image via Warner Bros. Pictures]