James Gunn Explains Joker’s Absence from The Suicide Squad

Jared Leto's Joker as Jesus

Director James Gunn sat down for an interview with the New York Times, where he explained the Joker’s absence from The Suicide Squad.

Cut from the team

The excitement continues to build for the debut of DC’s summer blockbuster The Suicide Squad. James Gunn’s soft reboot of what everyone hopes to be a lucrative series for DC, and Warner Bros. features several old faces from David Ayer’s version. The familiar visages of Amanda Waller and Harley Quinn shine at the viewer from many a piece of promotional art, but one conspicuously absent face is that of the Joker, played by Jared Leto in the 2016 original.

Did Gunn consider bringing back Leto to reprise his role? Not for a second, apparently.

“Joker, no,” Gunn said. “I just don’t know why Joker would be in the Suicide Squad. He wouldn’t be helpful in that type of war situation.”

Crying on the inside

Sensible answer from a sensible man

Jared Leto is a great actor and you have to admire, or at least pity, the desperate lengths he went to, in order to drive himself (and his castmates) insane, in an effort to craft an iteration of the Joker that could stand with the iconic versions by past actors.

The Suicide Squad is shaping up to be a Dirty Dozen style war flick, and a character like the Joker, even a really scary cool version, has limited room to work in a story like that. Joker’s absence from The Suicide Squad makes perfect sense from a storytelling perspective. The fact that Gunn realized that from the very start fills me with the hope that we’re going to see a version of the squad that will truly shock and awe in classic squad style!

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