You may have heard by now the chatter stemming from a recent Collider interview with Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice director Zack Synder, in which he was asked how close the upcoming film came to including the DCEU's Joker Jared Leto (set to debut in the upcoming Suicide Squad).
There had been a lot of chatter in the fanbase regarding the possibility of a Joker cameo off the back of the Death In The Family storyline from the comics that was hinted at in one of the numerous trailers released over the past year by the presence of a defaced Robin suit.
According to Synder, the idea of introducing not only the Joker but another massive Batman villain came very close to being made flesh, as he tells Collider:
Synder: "The Joker and The Riddler both came close to being in [Batman v Superman]. We talked about the possibility of putting them in. [Screenwriter] Chris Terrio and I talked about it a lot and felt that their mythological presence is felt in the movie and that’s cool, but I didn’t want to get my eye too far off the ball because I needed to spend the time, frankly, with Batman and Superman to understand the conflict."
So there you go. No Joker and no Riddler for Batman v Superman, but this is most likely a very good thing for the movie.
Batman v Superman is hella ambitious; if nothing else it deserves that accolade. We've already been introduced to Henry Cavill's Superman in 2013's Man Of Steel, so his place in the DCEU is already somewhat established (if still in need of development), but Batman v Superman is a whole new ball game.
Not only will it introduce an entirely new and very different Batman in the form of the brooding Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), it's also tasked with laying the groundwork that will establish the entire DC Extended Universe, as well as setting up DC's greatest heroes leading into their own feature films and the Justice League.
Ezra Miller's Flash, Ray Fisher's Cyborg and Jason Momoa's Aquaman are popping up in their own cameos, and let's not shy away from talking about Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) — the very first big screen iteration of one of DC's most iconic characters. Female superheroes always come under a great deal of scrutiny (look at the Black Widow debacle Marvel got themselves into by under-representing her both on screen and in merchandise), so the way Wonder Woman's character is handled could make or break certain critical responses to Batman v Superman.
It's a lot. Even for a movie boasting an impressive 2 hours 33 minutes run time it's a hell of a lot to cram in, and establishing numerous new characters in a cinematic universe still in its infancy while keeping the narrative coherent will be tricky.
Synder said he wanted to keep the movie grounded in Batman and Superman, having the "mythological presence" of the two Big Bads hanging over Batman without being explicitly presented on screen. For a movie already threatening to run over with action and establishment, it's a good call.
Joker's mythological presence will be felt in the death of Robin hanging over Batman like a cloud, and we'll see more of him when Suicide Squad releases in August, but what of Riddler?
Synder's comments seem to suggest that the green clad question mark has also contributed largely to the emotional scars Bruce Wayne carries with him, but in what manner? And does this mean we'll be getting the first on-screen Riddler in over 20 years in the DCEU's Batman solo film? (And as a side note, who would you want to play the Riddler in the DCEU? Tell us in the comments below).
While it would've been great to see Batman come up against the Joker or the Riddler it's probably best to keep those cards in the pack until Suicide Squad and the Batman solo movie, if nothing else it gives us something else to look forward to after the battle ends.
'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' releases March 25, 2016. Check out the shiny new TV spot below!