James Gunn on why Joker isn’t in Suicide Squad


The success of Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips’ R-rated take on Joker proves that audiences across the world have a huge appetite for the character.

But with Phoenix and Phillips insisting that Joker will be a one-off, stand alone movie that won’t have any sequels, DC fans are already wondering when they might get to see the super-villain on screen again.

Read More: Jared Leto ‘distraught’ by decision to cast Joaquin Phoenix as Joker

Writer and director James Gunn has now played down any residual hope that Joker will be in his new take on Suicide Squad. During a recent Instagram Q&A Gunn was asked how he could justify making a Suicide Squad movie without Joker, which provoked the filmmaker to respond, “No one but me and a few others know all the characters in the movie. But if the Joker isn’t in the film, I don’t think it would be strange as he isn’t a part of the Suicide Squad in the comics.”

Director James Gunn attends a premiere of the film “Guardians of the galaxy, Vol. 2” in London April 24, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Of course, the opening line of these remarks leaves the door slightly ajar for some surprising additions to the ensemble, but the fact that Joker wasn’t included when Gunn formally announced the Suicide Squad roster last month means it seems unlikely he’ll be involved.

A new piece from The Hollywood Reporter has also quashed hopes that we’ll ever see Jared Leto return as Joker, too. It alleges that the Oscar winner was so livid with Warner Bros for allowing Phillips and Phoenix to make their own movie on the character he had just portrayed in 2016’s Suicide Squad that he tried his best to get it stopped.

Read More: Could ‘Joker’ actually win big at the Oscars 2020?

Sources for the article say “Leto’s days as the Joker likely are over,” with another remarking, “How do you play the Joker you established following [Phoenix? It kind of ends his Joker run.”


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