With the addition of Jared Leto as The Joker and (probably) Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke in Zack Snyder's Justice League, some fans are wondering whether a years-old tease by comedy legend John Cleese might finally pay off. Back in 2017, Cleese shared an image of himself on social media, which included a trio of DC books. Given that he is social media-friendly with Zack Snyder, Ben Affleck, and other DC Films staples, fans immediately started to wonder whether he might be hinting at a role in Justice League, which at the time was not yet released. He never appeared in the theatrical cut of the film, but that hasn't dissuaded some fans from speculating about the Snyder Cut.
The two most popular theories, back before people largely forgot about the Cleese tease, were that he was to play either Billy Wintergreen, who has ties to Deathstroke's backstory, or Dr. Bartholomew Wolper, a flaky, New Age-y doctor at Arkham Asylum whose two most notable stories both involved The Joker breaking out of the asylum. Those same fans have characterized the movie version of Wintergreen as Deathstroke's version of Alfred, and likely the man who would have been driving the motorboat that brought him to his meeting with Lex Luthor.
It's arguably just as likely that Cleese was messing with fans, especially since he appeared to be putting lipstick on in the original photo, perhaps suggesting that he was The Joker (a character who appears in two of the three comics before him on the desk):
Getting into character before tonight's Q&A in Worcester, MA pic.twitter.com/ajek3bpyQS— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) January 20, 2017
Originally, the idea was that the "Snyder Cut" of Justice League would be little more than a fully-realized version of the workprint he shared with Warner Bros. executives shortly before he left the project in 2017. After it was announced that Zack Snyder's Justice League was headed to HBO Max, though, the project was expanded to be a four-part prestige miniseries, and among the reshoots (which were always going to happen in some limited capacity to fill in shots that Snyder hadn't completed before stepping away), news started to trickle in that characters with small or no parts in the original movie would be called in to expand their presence.
There is a lot we don't yet know about Zack Snyder's Justice League, since the filmmaker was first given leeway to finish incomplete work, and then asked to expand the content to fit its new format. Theoretically, more information should be coming in early 2021 as the reshoots get underway and/or new promotional content becomes available.