There has been no word on when Jared Leto will return as Joker, but one fan has created a poster featuring him front and center as the villain in The Batman. Leto took up the infamous villain mantle for the first time in Suicide Squad and while his acting ability and recent awards history gave reason to believe he could rival both interpretations by Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson, he wound up being one of the most divisive parts of the villain-centric film.
The disapproval of Leto’s Joker started early on when his punk rock, tattooed, and beaten first look was first released. He fought an uphill battle after and his quirky performance did not help change the perceptions of this version after the fact. Since then, when (or if) he will return has been left up in the air, but The Batman has continued to be a possible landing spot and has now spawned a fan poster imagining Joker as the primary villain.
MessyPandas has revealed his take on a possible teaser poster for the Ben Affleck solo movie. Even though director Matt Reeves has yet to settle on a villain, Joker reappearing is certainly in the cards. The poster is simple in its style and cleverly uses one of Batman’s bloody batarangs to stand-in for the Joker’s smile.
As great of a fan poster as this may be, it is far from a guarantee that this is ultimately what fans will see in theaters. It may be over 10 years between Ledger’s The Dark Knight performance by the time The Batman hits theaters and over five since the last Batman solo movie overall, but Reeves, WB, and DC could very well try to do something totally unique for their first Batman solo movie in this DC Extended Universe. Batman has one of the most expansive rogue galleries of any comic book character and while Joker is his top foe, this could be a chance for another villain to shine.
Back when Affleck was set to direct and write as well as star, Joe Manganiello was set to be the main villain of this film. Since then, that status has become unclear and rumors have been persistent as they try to figure out which villain(s) will actually be featured. The most recent rumor does include Joker along with Deathstroke and Scarecrow, but that is simply an unsubstantiated rumor at this point.
Once Reeves shifts his focus from War for the Planet of the Apes and onto The Batman, it should become more clear what his vision for the project will be. Maybe he does have a strong desire to bring Leto’s Joker in as the villain – or at the minimum in a cameo capacity – but he could just as well go in a totally different direction. Either way, we should know more later this year.
The Batman is currently in development and does not have a release date.