Why Zack Snyder brought back Jared Leto's Joker in Justice League

Jared Leto in Zack Snyder's Justice League
(Image credit: Warner Bros./HBO Max)

Zack Snyder's Justice League isn't just a simple director's cut of the original 2017 theatrical release of Justice League – it's a completely new beast. The filmmaker has striven to make the new version as different as possible, even filming two additional scenes in 2020. One of those brought in Jared Leto's Joker, who was not previously in the movie. 

"[Adding the Joker] was a thing I had wanted to do," Snyder tells Total Film in the latest issue of the magazine, "because frankly, the ultimate conflict in a universe where Batman exists is for him to confront Joker. I was afraid that if this was the last Justice League with Ben [Affleck's Batman] and Jared, it would be remiss if I couldn't figure out a way for them to come into conflict. 

"Also, it was a wish of mine to bring Joker into the continuing storyline. I hinted at it in Batman v Superman – when you see Batman's gun in the post-apocalyptic world, it has a Joker playing card taped to it. This has a little bit to do with that concept."

We have already seen part of the scene in a Justice League trailer, revealing that Leto's Joker will say the very meme-able line, "We live in a society." No doubt there will be plenty more internet-breaking moments in the Snyder Cut when it finally arrives.

Zack Snyder's Justice League is scheduled to stream on HBO Max in the US and on VOD services in the UK from March 18. For much more on the film – plus exclusive on-set coverage of Godzilla vs. Kong – pick up a copy of the new issue of Total Film magazine when it hits shelves (real and digital) this Friday, March 5. Check out the new covers below:

Total Film's Godzilla vs. Kong covers

(Image credit: Future)

If you're a fan of Total Film, why not subscribe so that you never miss an upcoming issue? Sign up via MagazinesDirect and with the latest offer you'll save 60 per cent – that's better than half price! – on a print and digital bundle. You'll also get exclusive subscriber-only covers like the Godzilla vs. Kong one above.

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(Image credit: Total Film/Warner Bros)
Jack Shepherd
Freelance Journalist

Jack Shepherd is the former Senior Entertainment Editor of GamesRadar. Jack used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film for the likes of GR+, Total Film, SFX, and others. You can now find Jack working as a freelance journalist and editor.