Today in Oh What Now news, it has been reported that Jared Leto will reprise his role as the Joker for Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Yes, you read that right, Jared Leto, once the third best Joker and now the fourth best Joker, is getting a do-over while Joaquin Phoenix, the guy who won an Oscar for playing the Joker, sits at home. And spare me the nerd-splaining, I remember the Joker Easter egg in Batman v Superman, and I also recall Ben Affleck having a cameo in Suicide Squad—I fully realize that Zack Snyder’s version of Batman was always connected to Jared Leto’s version of Joker. What I am proposing is that Jared Leto’s Joker is terrible, and no one liked it, and they should upgrade to the Joker everyone liked.
The Snyder Cut, due on HBO Max next year, is currently undergoing additional photography. What was once supposed to be a $20-30 million completion of already-shot footage has turned into a potentially $70 million boondoggle for HBO Max. Bob Greenblatt, the WarnerMedia chief, won’t commit to an actual number for the budget, but on the Recode Media podcast he called it “wildly expensive,” saying, “I’ll just say I wish it was just $30 million and stop there. It’s an enormous undertaking and very complex.” The Snyder Cut is going to cost Warner Brothers a fortune, on top of the fortune they already spent (and lost) on Justice League. All this for a streaming service with under five million subscribers. This entire project is in no way magical thinking and HBO Max is totally doing fine and is not at all desperate, I am sure.
During that Recode interview, Greenblatt also said of the Snyder Cut, “It isn’t as easy as going into the vault and there’s a Snyder Cut sitting there to put out. […] It does not exist. Zack is actually building it…” For years, I said the Snyder Cut didn’t exist simply because Snyder did not get a chance to finish it before leaving the project for personal reasons. And for years, I got the most awful abuse for saying so. Wishes of bodily harm, death threats, rape threats, you name it, some Snyderbro spewed it, and not just at me. Anybody who dared wade into the Snyder Cut waters for years found themselves on the wrong end of cinema’s most toxic fanbase. Now, with all evidence pointing to the fact that Snyder did not, in fact, have a completed cut of his movie ready for release up to and including the chairman of the company paying for it admitting that “it does not exist”, not one person has offered an apology. I’m not looking for that apology and I don’t need it, but I will keep reminding everyone that the Snyder Cut is result of a toxic, abusive campaign and the worst fans in cinema getting what they want is probably going have to negative implications down the line. The return of the fourth best Joker is just the start.