Rumor: The Joker to Appear in ‘Suicide Squad,’ Jared Leto Eyed for Role

By November 8, 2014
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With Warner Bros. recently establishing that their DC Comics-based movies will be following the shared cinematic universe approach, we’ve started to see a lot of forward momentum on casting for some of the comic book publisher’s most timeless characters. Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, and Gal Gadot will take represent the “DC Trinity” as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman respectively, Ezra Miller has been cast as the Flash in an upcoming solo film, Jason Momoa will bring Aquaman to life, and Ray Fisher will play Victor Stone/Cyborg. We also have some ideas for villains, as Jesse Eisenberg will portray Superman’s greatest destined enemy Lex Luthor.

There are still some roles, though, that we have no idea about. Green Lantern, for instance, is on WB’s upcoming DC Comics film slate, but has yet to be cast for an appearance in one of the two planned Justice League films. We also know that director David Ayer (Fury) will be helming a Suicide Squad project that’s rumored to include Eisenberg’s Luthor, and if the following rumor ends up panning out, we could be seeing a villainous crossover on par with the upcoming Batman v Superman: according to a rumor at The Wrap, the Joker is in the latest Suicide Squad screenplay draft, and Jared Leto is reportedly being considered to take the part on.

Some might find Joker's name in connection with the Suicide Squad surprising, but Harley Quinn has been a charter member of the team since the New 52 began in 2011. If she's there, he may not be far behind...

Some might find Joker’s name in connection with the Suicide Squad surprising, but Harley Quinn has been a charter member of the team since the New 52 began in 2011. If she’s there, he may not be far behind…

Leto, of course, won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor this past February for his work in Dallas Buyers Club, opposite Matthew McConaughey. The actor apparently has yet to decide how he’ll follow up that critically acclaimed role, so his schedule is seemingly open and may allow him to delve into the role with the attention that it would likely require. The last time the Joker appeared in a film, obviously, was in 2008 with Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, where he ws played by the late Heath Ledger. Ledger would go on to posthumously win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, cementing both his performance and that character with a very solid legacy as one of modern cinema’s best villains.

While some might see it as surprising that the Joker would appear in an offshoot DC Comics property like Suicide Squad, New 52 comics fans will notice that Joker’s “main squeeze” Harley Quinn is a member of the Squad, and that character is also rumored to be a part of the Ayer film. While it seems unlikely that Joker would be an active member of the team (or any team, for that matter), comic book fans know that he covets Harley rather closely, and may be keeping an eye on her. An appearance here may also set the character up for a future film appearance, perhaps across from Ben Affleck’s Batman.

As a Batman fan, I don’t look at the next live-action appearance of perhaps the best trickster character ever very lightly. Leto, though, seems like he would embody the character fantastically if it was a role he was up for. The idea of seeing the Joker and Lex Luthor in the same film is really interesting to me as a comic book fan, but if an actor of Leto’s caliber were to be the next embodiment of that character for the new DC Cinematic Universe, then that would send a powerful message about the caliber of performer the studio would seek for a villain who is now talked about in concert with the greatest cinematic villains of all time. We’ll just have to see if it pans out.

For more on this story as it develops, be sure to keep it on GeekNation!

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Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation, Batman-On-Film.com, The Huffington Post, and Movies.com. He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.