ByFergus Coyle, writer at
Movie lover, wannabe director and resident DC nerd. Get more from me at:
Fergus Coyle

Jared Leto is going to be playing the clown prince of crime come 2016 and the debut of the [Suicide Squad](movie:2283363). In terms of casting I think that he's as good as anyone for the role, but the bigger question to be asked here is: Do we want to see the Joker again? So here, I'm going to give three points for, and three points against Mr. J returning.


1) The Dark Knight is still fresh in our minds:

In case you've been in hyper-sleep for the past decade, in 2008 Heath Ledger gave us an incredible take on the Joker. One which I would consider iconic in fact. That, on top of the fact that the world was shortly shocked by his death, makes a pretty convincing argument that we should give this character a break. Even though 8 years will have passed by the time we see the Joker return to our screens, there's definitely a case to make that with a movie as genre-defining as The Dark Knight, we need more time before we can move on.

2) We've been over-exposed to the character:

Joker has dominated video games, animated series, films and comics for decades now. We've seen great versions and we've seen not so great versions. But we've seen him everywhere, and the question has to be asked as to whether or not the character has been over-exposed. Yes, he's one of the greatest villains in pop culture history, but too much of a good thing guys... Maybe we might even get tired of him? Maybe.

3) Where's Batman?

Joker is the perfect foil to Batman. And it's undeniable that where Batman goes, the Joker has to follow at some point or other. But when this Killer Clown appears in Suicide Squad, ol' Batsy will be nowhere to be seen. With the Joker's whole criminal career usually centering around the caped crusader, can he really work without Batman? Well, the comics have shown us that the answer is actually yes, but the best of his moments and stories involve Batman, and anything he does outwith that, is ever living in the shadow of such stories.


1) The character has so much to offer cinema:

While yes, in Batman media as a whole, the Joker is potentially, as mentioned above, overused, in terms of cinematic interpretation there are so many new ways to take the character. We could see the character as he is in The Dark Knight Returns (a personal favorite), the Killing Joke, Soft Targets or one of the many, many other acclaimed Joker arcs. And let's face it, the general viewing audience for a film will most likely have only seen Ledger's and Nicholson's Jokers, and maybe Mark Hamill's animated takes. Which means that they have so much Joker goodness to be introduced to.

2) Heath Ledger wasn't the comic book Joker:

While it's impossible to deny that Heath Ledger brought us a fantastic villain, it was a Joker that had been changed in order to be the foil to a different Batman from the comics, thus making him a different character than any we'd seen before from DC. Which is similar to the first point, but also means that Jared Leto has much more freedom to adapt the character than you might think, as while he will be in Ledger's shadow, he has a great opportunity to bring us something completely different.

3) Harley Quinn:

While I would argue that Harley is a character that can stand on her own two feet as interesting without the Joker on screen, her best story by far is 'Mad Love', which centers around her obsession and abusive relationship with the Joker. It's a heartbreaking story and one with it's roots in a deep, real world issue, which makes it something we could all do with seeing on screen. While it's not going to make it into it's own feature, elements being incorporated could make things complex and interesting for Harley. I mean, having a gun to your head and then having your slave driver/ love of your life walk in and tell you to ignore it could make things a little complex.

The Verdict

For me personally, I think that it's ok for him to be there. I'd have preferred for him to not be, but as long as it's a glorified cameo that maybe stretches to one scene with Harley. But personally I feel that they should wait until the Batman reboot with Ben Affleck in a couple more years and did the 'Death in the Family' story or something equally great. I just feel that we need to give other characters shot, similar to how we need to let Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and other heroes a chance to shine without Batman and Superman dominating the spotlight. But with Jared Leto playing him, I'm optimistic, even though the Joker was my least favorite pert of Assault on Arkham.

Wrapping Up...

So that's my opinion on the Joker's return to cinema, do you agree? Disagree? Either way feel free to let us know in the comments, and until next time guys, enjoy your lives!!!


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