James Gunn Explains Why Joker Doesn’t Need to Be in The Suicide Squad

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There are still a lot of questions about James Gunn‘s debut in the DC Comics cinematic universe The Suicide Squad. Is it a reboot or a sequel? Is it both? Gunn himself isn’t answering that question, in fact he isn’t saying much about his film except the cast, which includes returning stars Viola Davis, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, and Jai Courtney. They will all reprise their roles from the original movie by David Ayer, but there are a lot more new faces coming in for this new deadly adventure. And yet some fans are still wondering what’s going on with Jared Leto‘s Joker.

One fan asked Gunn during a fan Q&A session on his Instagram Stories how this film could possibly be considered a Suicide Squad movie without Joker involved, and Gunn didn’t even deny that the character isn’t in the movie.

“No one but me and a few others know all the characters in the movie, but if the Joker isn’t in the film, I don’t think it would be strange as he isn’t a part of the Suicide Squad in the comics,” Gunn replied. And he’s right.

Joker was only closely associated with the team because of Ayer’s film which made him one of the antagonists because of his association with Harley Quinn. In fact, Harley only became involved with the Squad as recently as the New 52 relaunch from 2011, and subsequently appeared in the Batman: Assault on Arkham animated movie that ties into the popular Batman: Arkham video game series.

So while Harley’s ties to the franchise are only recent, Joker’s are much less strong and only existent BECAUSE of Harley’s newer status.

The jury might still be out on Leto’s appearance as Joker, even though it seems unlikely at this point. But we did get confirmation of one actor from the original film who definitely won’t be returning, and that’s Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc.

“I don’t think I need to [do it again], to be honest,” Akinnuoye-Agbaje explained to Yahoo Movies UK. “I did it, I enjoyed it, it bought me a Bentley and I will keep moving on.”

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The Suicide Squad opens in theaters on August 6, 2021

Joker is now playing in theaters. Other upcoming DC Films movies include Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on June 25, 2021, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.

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