Batman and Joker will meet in Zack Snyder's Justice League, but producer Deborah Snyder reveals actors Ben Affleck and Jared Leto filmed separately when called to perform additional photography on Zack Snyder's director's cut. In October, a handful of Justice League stars returned to film for the first time since 2017 — Affleck, Superman actor Henry Cavill, Cyborg actor Ray Fisher, and Flash actor Ezra Miller — on a brief round of additional photography needed to complete Snyder's vision of a post-apocalyptic Knightmare sequence. The new footage, which includes Amber Heard's undersea princess Mera and Joe Manganiello's assassin Deathstroke, filmed under health and safety protocols implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:
"What was hard was, we only shot for three days. We shot the Batman-Joker scene, and then we did a couple of pickups. But literally, no one was together," Snyder told CINEMA-Magazin. "It was hard from a scheduling point of view, and it was also hard to plan it because everyone is just starting to come back to shooting after COVID. But we were still figuring out what the restrictions were, and how to do it safely."
"But so much so that we had to shoot Jared and Ben on separate days because we couldn't push the shoot anymore when everyone was available," the Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice producer explained, "because we had to deliver the visual effects by Christmas in order to make the March date. So time definitely was not on our side, even though you would think it was. Even Ezra was shooting Fantastic Beasts, and Zack had to direct him via Zoom and we had their crew cover the shot for us."
Last month, Zack Snyder opened up about the difficulties of filming during the pandemic and revealed why he wanted to bring Affleck's Batman and Leto's Joker together in Justice League — five years after they appeared separately in the David Ayer-directed Suicide Squad:
"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 told the 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 said. "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)."
Starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Ciarán Hinds, Ray Porter, Joe Manganiello, and Jared Leto, Zack Snyder's Justice League releases March 18 on HBO Max.