Zack Snyder Reveals How He Convinced Jared Leto to Play the Joker Again in ‘Justice League’

Zack Snyder’s Justice League has grown exponentially in scope. When the theatrical cut came out in 2017, fans just wanted to see Snyder’s original version before Joss Whedon reshoots. Since HBO Max agreed to air Snyder’s cut, it has expanded into a four hour miniseries with Snyder shooting new scenes. He even got Jared Leto to reprise his Suicide Squad role as The Joker.

Zack Snyder and Jared Leto
L-R: Zack Snyder and Jared Leto | Todd Williamson/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Snyder spoke with The Film Junkee on Nov. 14 about Zack Snyder’s Justice League to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. He told host Dave Pena about how he convinced Leto to be in his new cut. Zack Snyder’s Justice League is coming to HBO Max in 2021. 

Zack Snyder added the Joker to a different ‘Justice League’ scene

Synder had several scenes he never got to include in Justice League. When it became possible to film them, he thought, “What if the Joker was in this one?”

Justice League producers Zack Snyder and Debbie Snyder
Deborah Snyder and Zack Snyder | Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

RELATED: Henry Cavill: Zack Snyder ‘Justice League’ Cut Should Be Finished ‘Whether You Agree With It or Not’

“I had this idea for a scene,” Snyder told Pena. “I had a version of this scene that I had written maybe three years ago, slightly different but very similar. But then, for whatever reason, for a multitude of reasons I didn’t. Then, I was talking to [Producer] Debbie [Snyder] and we were talking about,‘Dp you think it would be possible? Am I crazy? Should I just call him? Should I just cold call him and say hey?”

Zack Snyder called Jared Leto out of the blue about ‘Justice League’ 

Leto is a big of an enigma, so just calling him was a surreal experience for Snyder.

“So I called him and I said, ‘Listen,’” Snyder said. “I don’t know where he was. He was either on the top of a mountain or possibly was in a submarine. I don’t know exactly where he was but any of those possibilities. He was on stage I think. I could hear 100,000 people. ‘Okay, you people shut up.’ And they all went deathly quiet. Then we had to call and then he was like, ‘Okay, we’ll talk more about it.’ No, but it felt like it.”

The real call was a bit more businesslike, but Snyder had to explain his idea and let Leto think about whether or not he wanted to put the Joker makeup back on.

Jared Leto
Jared Leto | Nataliya Petrova/NurPhoto via Getty Images

RELATED: ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ DCFandome Trailer Reveals New Flash and Cyborg Moments

“It was this cool conversation because when I pitched him the idea, I feel like he hooked onto the why of it, because there’s a big why,” Snyder said. “He hooked onto the why of it and was like okay. Literally, he said to me, ‘We’ll talk more.’ Then I kept calling him. We talked over a while and he agreed to do it. I will say it was a great experience. He’s a gifted actor and really dedicated.”

To be clear, Jared Leto is in a brand new ‘Justice League’ scene

Snyder concluded by clarifying there was never a Joker scene in his 2017 version of Justice League. This is one of the benefits of getting a second chance. 

RELATED: ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’: Superman Actor Henry Cavill Doesn’t Know What New Scenes Are In the Movie

“No, he wasn’t,” Snyder said. “There was a few things that I had thought about doing, that I had thought about grabbing in post. There was a number of things I had drawn, a couple of them I still wasn’t able to do but it’s fine. I’m completely satisfied but this was one of the things that, in the years since, I kind of boiled on and said this would be a cool thing to do. I’ll be honest, I never thought the opportunity would come. Thanks to the fans of course and this whole journey, it’s happened which is insane.”