The Suicide Squad: James Gunn explains why he didn’t bring back Jared Leto’s Joker

·2-min read

James Gunn has explained why he didn’t bring back Jared Leto’s Joker for the forthcoming DC film The Suicide Squad.

Leto previously played Batman’s nemesis in the 2016 film Suicide Squad. While other cast members, including Margot Robbie and Viola Davis, will be returning, Leto is not.

Speaking to The New York Times, Gunn said that Warner Bros gave him complete freedom to decide which characters to include in The Suicide Squad.

“I wanted it to be its own thing completely,” he said. “When Warner Bros said they wanted me to do this, I watched the first movie for the first time, and I called them back and said, ‘What do I have to keep from this movie?’ And they said, ‘Nothing.’

“They said, ‘Listen, we would love it if Margot’s in the movie but she doesn’t have to be. You could come up with all new characters or you could keep all the same characters.’”

Gunn was then asked about whether he explored bringing back Leto’s Joker or Will Smith, who played Deadshot in the 2016 film.

“Joker, no,” he responded. “I just don’t know why Joker would be in the Suicide Squad. He wouldn’t be helpful in that type of war situation.”

Gunn claimed that he decided to refocus the film on Idris Elba’s character because he “really wanted to work with Idris”.

“If there’s one protagonist, it’s Idris,” he said. “And I wanted somebody who had that gruff, ‘Unforgiven’-type feeling about him. This guy who had been reduced from being a bigshot supervillain — he took Superman out of the sky — who is now scraping gum off the floor at the beginning of the movie. He absolutely doesn’t want any part of it — he just has accepted this is his life. And I just think that character is Idris Elba.”

The Suicide Squad is released in UK cinemas on 30 July.

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