A couple weeks ago, the latest trailer for Suicide Squad was released, and as usual, fans tore it apart, analyzing each and every detail. Some fans managed to spot a few different scattered shots that worked together perfectly.
The shots show Harleen Quinzel (the early Harley Quinn) falling into a batch of toxic gunk, presumably. In another shot, Joker is there, who takes off his coat and leaps after her. He then, in yet another shot, pulls her unconscious body out of the gunk. They are all shots from the trailers, and they all piece together so well to show Harley Quinn's origin.
After further analyzing Joker's scenes in the trailers, I noticed something - the only character we ever see Joker with is Harley! With such an enormous ensemble cast, why does he not ever interact with any of the other characters? And why does Joker not ever seem to appear during any of the same settings as the other characters?
To put is simply, every scene with the Joker is likely just a flashback - a flashback of Harley Quinn. But why all the flashbacks?
Because the Joker is already dead
Fans have already pieced it together and discovered that an earlier shot was also a flashback (specifically, the one above). This was determined as his tattoos, which he has in the other scenes, are not there. If he had the tattoos during this scene, they would be clearly visible just beneath his neck. However, his shirt is unbuttoned, and there are no visible tattoos.
Either he put make-up over them (which is unlikely) or this shot took place long before the events of the movie. So if there is this flashback, in addition to the flashback of Harley's origin, how many other flashbacks could there be?
Joker also seemingly appears in another scene with Harley, where they are driving in a sparkly purple car, driving away from Batman. So how do we explain this one as a flashback?
If you look closely at Harley during this scene, you will note she looks a lot younger in appearance. She looks nothing like what she looks like in the rest of the movie. This could easily be the younger Harley Quinn who caused crimes alongside Joker before her arrest and his presumed death.
Looking more closely into the trailers, Joker does not appear in any of the same settings as anyone else significant, except for the scenes described above. So either Joker is just a completely unrelated subplot of the movie, or these are flashbacks.
The flashbacks would be of Harley, we can assume. If Joker is indeed dead at this point, Harley would still be in grieving. With her inspiration, lover and partner in crime, there would be a major gap in her life. This would explain why she joins the Suicide Squad, and the flashbacks may appear throughout the movie to explain the gap she is trying to fill in her life.
[Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870) even carries some proof towards this theory. As we already know, Joker is not a member of the Suicide Squad - so it is safe to assume that he is not locked up in prison. The question is, if Joker really was out and about during the events of Batman v Superman, why wasn't Batman hell bent on hunting him down just as much as Superman?
As we saw by the graffiti on the dead Robin's costume, Batman has a very major reason to be pissed off with Joker. Joker took away Batman's own ward, and that is something that has clearly traumatized Bruce. There is only one way to explain why Batman is not hell bent on hunting down Joker, who is clearly not in jail - he already hunted him. And, noting the fact that Batman no longer follows his "no killing" rule after Joker kills Jason Todd in the comics, Batman already killed the Joker to avenge his young ward.
The concept of having a dead Joker is actually a great idea for DC. After The Dark Knight, everyone already knows that no one can do better than Heath Ledger's Joker. In both an attempt to honor the late Heath Ledger, and to avoid competing with his performance, the filmmakers likely put Joker as a flashback character during Suicide Squad.
Joker will be in it just the right amount. He will be in it enough so that we experience how crazy he is, but not enough that he will steal the show like Ledger did and have to compete with the undeniably perfect Joker from The Dark Knight. Having Joker already dead is the perfect formula for Suicide Squad, as it sells the tickets, but does not have to go head to head with the unbeatable legend.
Though it may seem off putting to hear that Joker is likely dead, it is a very plausible theory. Not only does it go hand in hand with everything we've seen so far in the trailers, but it also fits with the plot of Batman v Superman and would have been a smart move on DC's part when recreating the character.
I love the Joker and know the character can stir up a lot of fun trouble, but perhaps this movie is just the character's swan song. Perhaps this is DC's way of telling us to watch the Suicide Squad for even more Joker-like antics. It may be tough to accept that Joker is gone, but would Batman really have let the lunatic live on after what he did to Robin? No, he would not have. Rest in peace, Joker.