Zack Snyder’s Joker Proves the Ayer Cut Isn’t Really Necessary
It was the moment that fans had waited a lifetime for. It’d been years in the making, but finally, it arrived. After all the heartache, false starts and rumours circulating through the fandom, The Great Milenko by the Insane Clown Posse tore up the stereos with its insatiable horrorcore bop and Pennywise-approved menace in 1997. Speaking of other Juggalos, Jared Leto’s latest version of Joker debuted in a behind-the-scenes sneak peek of Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
Gone were the face tattoos and Machine Gun Kelly wardrobe, paving the way for a distorted and sinister character that could’ve been pulled straight out of a black metal album cover. And he actually looks pretty good—like how you’d expect the Knightmare depiction of the Clown Prince of Crime to actually appear if this was in the comics.
Again, it makes you wonder what went wrong with David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. While the director/writer lays the blame of the theatrical cut straight on Warner Bros.’ doorstep, it still doesn’t address why he decided to make the Joker look like, well, how he did. Sure, he cites creative liberty and being inspired by modern gangsters, but that was never the Clown Prince’s essence to begin with.
You see, it wasn’t the Joker who owned a club and behaved like he wanted to be the kingpin of Gotham City—that’s the Penguin’s M.O. And he certainly didn’t dress like he was an ex-boyfriend of one of the Kardashians either. Instead, his sense of fashion was always more classical and reserved, bordering on a sophisticated gentleman who opens doors then knifes you in the back. He understood the importance of making a statement with his tidy apparel, but never at the expense of a good joke.
Yet, in Suicide Squad, the Joker became the joke. The audience made fun of his outlandish look and cringe-worthy behaviour. Regardless of how much screen time he did or didn’t receive, there was absolutely no way that this version of the Clown Prince could be salvageable in any cut of the movie. Much like rolling dog poop in glitter, it’s still going to be poop at the end of the day.
So, it’s a little bizarre how the audience thinks that Ayer has some magical cut stored away where it corrects the Joker’s appearance and Ace Ventura-esque personality. This isn’t something that post-production can remedy, despite what Twitter will make you believe.
From the get-go, the character design, coupled with the writing, was simply wrong. This version leaned too much into an Elseworlds representation of the Ace of Knaves than the one we’re familiar with. Even when his personality and appearance have been tweaked, à la The Dark Knight or Joker, the core of the fiend remained. You still got the feeling that you were watching the Joker, and not some clown trying to be him.
Unless Ayer receives the chance to reshoot and add scenes like Snyder did for the Snyder Cut, everyone’s still stuck with the long-lost member of ICP in any version of the film. Maybe it’s just time to let Justice League close the chapter for Leto’s Joker and move on.
Ultimately, Leto’s Joker will have the opportunity to interact with Ben Affleck’s Batman in a more intimate scene. That’s something that no one expected a year and a half ago. It offers the fans a sense of closure that shouldn’t be sniffed at. In Hollywood, getting the chance to write your own ending is rather rare, so it’s best not to look a gift horse in the mouth here. Just in case you spot it wearing a metal grill again.
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