When Suicide Squad hit theaters in August, I was surprised, like others up to and including Jared Leto himself, that the Joker was barely in it. Leto’s take on the iconic villain was heavily hyped during the hectic production with his “method” acting antics and during the marketing campaign leading up to the film’s release. He even popped up in character in the music video for “Purple Lamborghini,” doing gangster chic right alongside Rick Ross and Skrillex.
It’s known Leto filmed many more scenes than appeared in the film, mostly because many appeared in the commercials for the film itself leading up to its release. Supercuts were made on YouTube putting many of them together, along with set photos and videos from filming.
Naturally, ever since the Extended Cut of Squad was announced (despite director David Ayer professing the theatrical cut is his), fans wondered how much they’d see that footage. Would this be a “Joker Edition?”
The first sign that was not the case was the amount of new material. There was 11 minutes added to Suicide Squad – Extended Cut as opposed to the 30-plus minutes that remade Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as the Ultimate Edition. And, in this case, the minutes don’t radically reshape the film. Nor do they feature much new stuff from Joker.
Only about two new minutes of Leto’s Joker grace or grate your eyes in the Extended Cut, depending on your feelings on the polarizing actor’s polarizing performance. Seriously, he scared his co-stars. Just watch Margot Robbie in this featurette try and describe working with Leto and read between the lines.
I didn’t think we saw enough of Joker in the movie to really get a feel for this iteration and what we did see was erratic, to say the least. This is probably due to the fact that the nature and tone of his central relationship with Harley Quinn changed over of the course of the film’s production.
In the helicopter rescue scene, for example, it involved Joker threatening Harley before pushing her out of the helicopter instead of getting tragically separated from her in an attack. This would have tied into the scene where Joker’s face is half-burnt that was seen in the trailers, as he confronts the Squad post-climax to retrieve Harley, only for her to refuse. Obviously, that material doesn’t make an appearance here as it was part of an entirely different version of Suicide Squad from earlier in filming/editing.
The Extended Cut stuff with Joker is instead relegated to two sequences – an extended version of the scene where Joker electroshocks Harleen Quinzel during his Arkham breakout and a new flashback of a time Harley confronted the Joker about her love for him. They both deepen the twisted dynamic between the two.
The first new bit shows that Joker’s torture of Quinzel was partially fueled by revenge for the psychiatrist getting him to open up. He says she “erased” his mind by working through “faded memories.” This vulnerability is what he calls a “black hole of rage and confusion.” And oddly, an added bit where he gives her a belt so her teeth don’t chatter from the electroshock could be construed as the messed-up, selfish affection Joker is known to give her in other mediums.
The other scene was teased last week and features Harley Quinn pre-transformation chasing down Joker (in his purple Lamborghini) after joining his gang. What’s interesting about this scene is a) Joker’s initial reluctance at Quinn’s love b) Leto looks and sounds like Jim Carrey’s Riddler in Batman Forever. In regards to the first one, while Leto’s Joker may be saying or doing nonsense that barely qualifies as jokes, there’s some fun in finding the meaning behind the randomness.
Suicide Squad – Extended Cut is now available on digital.