Director Zack Snyder has earned his spotlight after fans demanded his Justice League (2021) director's cut and with the four-hour feature on the way, actor Jared Leto's Joker sheds his Suicide Squad (2016) past for a new look with new plot arcs.
Shroud in the infamy of being Batman's most notorious foe, each version of the Joker is asked to be distinct from the last without losing the signature insanity of the character. Snyder's Justice League sets out to reclaim Leto's polarizing take, taking aim to a makeover the pre-established Clown Prince of Crime.
Joker's first drastic change is a new costume, bringing Snyder to combat the previously thuggish appearance, trading in gaudy accessories and offensive silver suits for something more flattering for his persona. Although the modern upgrade was a creative choice, its perception was overall negative. Two new costumes are seen so far: one is simply a hospital gown, and the main costume is a baggy white shirt under a SWAT vest adorn with badges across it. The badges are assumed to be "trophies" of kills, and these two bleak outfits are far more familiar for the Joker, with or without the purple suit.
Tattoos are traded away for a more inkless look, erasing the most defining features of Leto's Joker. Once ornate with an odd collection of tattoos, there is no "Damaged" calligraphed across the Joker's forehead, several smiling mouths have disappeared, and the cadaverous jester has become obsolete alongside other pieces that contributed to the gallery of body art. Leto's facework has been either hidden or completely removed, but there's still no saying whether the rest of the tattoos remain, as Leto is only seen in full-body clothing with long sleeves so far.
` Snyder opens his trailer with a meme-worthy Joker one-liner, "we live in a society," giving the Joker the opportunity to show off his new voice. This is the only time we hear Leto speak, establishing a different-sounding tone that combats the past range in which he attempts, combining vocal traits from past Jokers Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, and Mark Hamill. This version of the Joker is not reliant on past reincarnations before him, exchanging old tropes for his own sound, hoping to be more audibly pleasing.
The establishing shot of Snyder's Justice League trailer has the Joker addressing his most famous nemesis, Batman (Ben Affleck), contesting the value of honor. Despite ensuing in the cat-and-mouse game that the two have been engaging in since the dawn of DC Comics, there could be the possibility of the pair setting aside their tired rivalry and teaming up. The Joker finds his motivation in not seeking sovereignty over the world, but more so in the justification of tormenting Batman. With similarities being drawn between the two characters, they may find more of an alliance hidden in their positions as adversaries. Overlooking their comic book roots, Snyder could break barriers to create the first-ever live-action agreement.
Snyder's undisrupted Justice League threatens to set characters in a new light, setting old faces up for new successes (or downfalls). The reconstructed Justice League has the opportunity to respin the shape of the DC Extended Universe, treading over the original superhero blockbuster, giving a popular team a second chance on the big, and small, screens. Zack Snyder's Justice League reclaims theaters and takes on HBO Max on March 18, 2021.