2016 was a conflicted year for Warner Bros. and its two major DC films that were released. Both Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad were met with hostility from critics and fans about the tone and lack of direction the movies had. One of the biggest controversies from this year dealt with the handle of Jared Leto’s version of the Joker in Suicide Squad. From the first image that was released of the Joker, to the misguiding trailers and television spots there wasn’t a uniformed opinion about this version of the character. When the movie was released the opinions about Jared Leto’s version of the Joker seem to calm, but the amount of screen time and the misguiding trailers became the topic of discussion.
All of the negative publicity from the movie and from Jared Leto himself put Warner Bros. in a position that it could go in one of two directions. As a studio they can focus on other DC characters for future movies, let the memory of Suicide Squad fade away, and try again in ten to fifteen years. Or let Jared Leto have one more shot at playing the Joker with a movie that will feature this character in his own movie.
Since the success of Deadpool and the anticipation for Logan, those two movie have shown that there is a market for R-rated comic book movies. Currently Warner Bros/DC do not have any plans to feature any DC characters in an R-rated film. Although the current films that have had a darker tone that focuses on a more adult audience they keep the content to a PG-13 standard to attract a broader audience.
If Warner Bros/DC were to bring back Jared Leto’s Joker for one more movie I think the best possible scenario is to have him feature in an R-rated film. There are multiple Joker centric stories that could be converted to a feature film. The most popular one that comes to mind is the 2008 story written by Brain Azzarello that follows the Joker after he is just recently released from Arkham and gets revenge against people who did him wrong.
Another option would be to add more star power to the movie and include Will Smith’s Deadshot to the movie. With Suicide Squad already creating a rift between the two characters over Harley Quinn there is easily a plot for a movie featuring these three characters. Granted Suicide Squad really tried to focus on these three characters the plot of the movie was way too complicated and there was way too many characters for a great movie. An R-rated Joker vs Deadshot movie could really boost the popularities to these characters and right the wrong of what Suicide Squad was trying to be.
I personally think that Jared Leto should be given another opportunity at playing the Joker and feature. Let him create the Joker that he wanted to do for Suicide Squad without any caution.
What do you all think, should Warner Bros. put the Joker to rest for a while or give it another try?