Remember last year’s Godzilla movie, starring Bryan Cranston? Well, sort of starring Bryan Cranston? Almost every advertisement touted the Breaking Bad star as the film’s protagonist, but then Cranston’s character didn’t make it past the movie’s first act.
I’m starting to wonder if Suicide Squad is playing a similar game with Jared Leto’s Joker.
Leto’s Joker has been one of the most talked about aspects of the movie. His appearance as the Joker was heavily teased, and the eventual reveal had people literally in disbelief (many fans thought the tattooed Joker had to be director David Ayer and company trolling fans, and certainly not the final look of the character for the film). The Joker got two covers for the film’s Empire Magazine feature, and Leto’s process of going full method to get into character has been well chronicled.
I can’t help but wonder if the exposure being given to Leto’s Joker is disproportionate to how large his role actually is in the film. In fact, I think his role may be relegated entirely to flashback or prologue sequences.
This is speculation, of course, but hear me out. We’ve seen several photos from behind-the-scenes with different cast members, and even a few large group shots that seemed to include the entire cast…except Leto. It seems like Leto didn’t spend a lot of time with his fellow cast members, suggesting that his shooting schedule was significantly different than that of the core cast.
This may be because he was busy staying in character by listening to gospel music in his trailer and remotely harassing his co-stars, since that’s apparently what movie stars are paid to do, but consider the Suicide Squad trailer and the official stills we’ve seen so far. The only scenes we’ve seen the Joker in are tied to Harley Quinn’s origin, where she’s treating him in Arkham or as part of the car chase scene with Batman. This may be the extent of the Joker’s presence in the film.
A recent rumor concerning the film’s plot also speaks to this. Most originally assumed that Task Force X would be assembled to track down the Joker after he escaped custody, but rumored plot details now suggest that they’re actually tracking down the Enchantress. Nothing about the promotion of Suicide Squad so far suggests that the Joker is a member of the team, so if Enchantress is the target, what role would the Joker play?
As of now, I’m thinking that our exposure to Leto’s Joker will be limited in Suicide Squad. His presence, specifically the Batman car chase, will continue to sew the narrative thread that begins in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice – with the appearance of Robin’s costume – and leads to the solo Batman movie, which is rumored to be an adaptation of Under the Red Hood. That’s where we’ll see the Joker take center stage.
Or at least that’s my working theory.
Check out when Suicide Squad and other movies are coming out in ComicBook.com's Movie Release Schedule.