IGN Fan Fest 2021 is taking place today and has featured a lot of news surrounding Zack Snyder's Justice League. DC fans have been waiting for the "Snyder Cut" for years, and it is finally hitting HBO Max next month. The new version of the film is expected to see the return of Jared Leto's Joker from 2016's Suicide Squad. It was previously reported that Joker will be showing up in Batman's Knightmare scene in which Ben Affleck's character envisions a future where the heroes lose to Darkseid. According to Snyder's panel during today's event, he always wanted to include Joker in the scene.
"It really defines, in my mind, the mythological heart of the conflict that both of them share is their relationship," Snyder explained. "I think without a scene where they get to air their dirty laundry about each other, I felt like we were getting shortchanged as fans of the DC Universe. That was the hope, that we would get to see them come together but also, in particular, reflecting on each other and their struggle with each other and the why a little bit, so that was really fun for me."
Snyder later added that he "always wanted [Joker] to be in the Knightmare reality and so it was a great opportunity. When I talked to Jared and he was interested in doing it, I just felt like, okay, this feels like a thing I can't pass up."
"Part of the reason I really wanted to do the scene was because I felt like this universe, it was important to me that Batman and Joker have a scene together," Snyder previously said on I Minutemen, adding the Batman versus Joker conflict is "central to the universe."
"And it seemed odd to me, or a shame [we haven't seen them together]. And frankly, it was a conflict that I had planned for, the Knightmare sequence," Snyder added. "I was excited to get the opportunity to do it, to have a little taste of it. So I thought it was important for fans to see their Batman and this cinematic universe's Joker come into some small conflict. Yeah, they have a little bit of history (laughs)."
Affleck's Batman and Leto's Joker almost crossed paths in Suicide Squad (2016) during the high-speed car chase that ends with Batman catching Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) for being involved with the murder of Robin.
"In my mind, it was that Robin had died 10 years earlier, during some run-in with a young Joker," Snyder said in a 2016 interview about the defaced Robin costume that appears as a haunting reminder in Batman v Superman. "So there was a fun backstory there to play with. I felt like the whole idea was that there had been loss and there had been sacrifice. In a weird way, [Bruce Wayne] had sacrificed everything to be Batman. He doesn't really have a life outside the cave. I thought that including Robin, a dead Robin, was helping us understand that he's been on quite a little journey."
Zack Snyder's Justice League releases on HBO Max on March 18th.