When Zack Snyder said he was bringing in Jared Leto to reprise his role as Joker in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the question was just how would he play into the story.
However, it turns out that Joker had nothing to do with the movie and was only there to do two things — set up the sequels that will now never happen and to give Batman and Joker their moment together in the DCEU.
Spoilers follow for Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
Why was Joker in Zack Snyder’s Justice League?
Joker played one role in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, but Zack Snyder shot the scenes to allow him to do two things.
The most important, storyline-wise, was to set up the events in Justice League 2 and 3, the Zack Snyder sequels that will never happen.
This is the Knightmare scene, and Snyder admitted that the second Justice League movie was going to create this world.
In the Knightmare world, Lois Lane dies and Superman goes insane. He ends up helping Darkseid conquer Earth and only a handful of heroes and villains are left to team up and fight him.
While Joker seems like a strange choice, Batman tells Deathstroke that he is needed by their side in this fight. That is when Superman shows up to fight.
The franchise was supposed to lead to the third chapter, where the heroes had to figure out how to go back and change time to erase this future from happening.
What did Joker accomplish in Zack Snyder’s Justice League?
However, there was one bigger reason why Joker was here with these last remaining heroes and villains.
Zack Snyder felt regret that he was never able to bring Batman face-to-face with his greatest villain in this DCEU world. This gave him that chance.
Snyder got that chance here and he redeemed a Jared Leto Joker that was one of the least liked characters in the DCEU.
Joker and Batman had their conversation. After Mera pointed out that Aquaman was dead and asked Batman what he knows about loss, Joker broke down how Batman knows loss.
Joker talked about Bruce’s parents dying and then pointed out that he sent a Boy Wonder to do a Batman’s work, hinting at him murdering Robin.
Batman then said he would kill Joker in the end, but for now, Joker gave Batman a playing card that ensured a truce as long as Batman held it. The two enemies would battle Superman together, but their rivalry was far from done.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League is now streaming on HBO Max.