Who Is Jared Leto’s Joker? These Are The Most Insane Fan Theories
Between our first look at Suicide Squad and the latest trailer for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, the DC movie universe is clearly ready to hit the ground running—and none of the footage we’ve seen so far excites us as much as getting to see Jared Leto’s Joker in action.
But even though we’ve only seen him strut his stuff for a grand total of five seconds, Batman and DC Comics fans are already reeling with ideas about what this new Joker might be like—especially on the popular Subreddit r/fantheories, where many nerds figure that this latest Clown Prince of Crime might not be what he seems at all.
Take a look at some of the most interesting and popular theories floating around, and let us know if you think any of them hold water:
The real Joker is dead.
Most of the current theories play with some variation of this core concept—that the original Joker died twenty years ago, which is why Bruce Wayne retired from being the Batman in the first place. The biggest piece of evidence cited is how much younger Jared Leto’s joker looks than Ben Affleck. Okay, sure, the actors are the same age, but Bruce Wayne’s got those striking grey streaks in his hair, and Leto’s joker has a very late ’90s/early ’00s pop punk style. One theory actually takes this even further and suggests that Leto’s Joker is actually a member of the Jokerz, a gang that appears the future version of Gotham from Batman Beyond.
The new Joker is Robin.
This is the biggest and most widespread theory around right now, as popularized by Redditor Jason-G169’s very meticulous breakdown of the Suicide Squad and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice trailers. Basically, it suggests that not only is the original Joker dead, but he’s been replaced by one of Batman’s former Boy Wonders. This would explain all the mean graffiti in Batman’s lair—“You Let Your Family Die!” could, in this light, be a reference to the Batfamily, not to Wayne’s parents.
But which Robin would make the most sense? That’s where the theories all start to differ. The most obvious choice for hardcore Batman fans would be Jason Todd, the Robin who was viciously beaten to death by the Joker and then brought back to life to seek revenge against Batman. Then there’s Dick Grayson, who’s by far the most recognizable Robin and who did become the second Joker in the Frank Miller comic The Dark Knight Strikes Again. And, of course, there’s also the storyline from Batman Beyond where the Joker finds a way to implant his genetic code into Tim Drake so that he can more or less possess his body from beyond the grave.
The new Joker is Jim Gordon.
In The Killing Joke, Alan Moore’s iconic Batman comic, the Joker has a very specific mission in mind—to deliberately drive commissioner Jim Gordon insane. In the original story his plan was unsuccessful, but what if in the Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice world it wasn’t—and he became the new Joker? Redditor Aliquid000 thinks it’s possible.
Jared Leto is just a decoy for the real Joker.
Rather than replacing the old Joker, this theory by GalaxyGuardian suggests that the grill-wearing tattoo-adorned creep we saw in the Suicide Squad trailer is some guy who’s been hired by the real Joker—who’s very much alive, thank you—to break into Task Force X headquarters or mess with the squad in some way. After all, when you’re up against a team that’s basically expendable, you want to make sure you’re bringing somebody expendable to the table as well, right? I mean, no way he’s risking his life for Harley Quinn, that’s for sure. Their relationship is pretty one-sided in that regard.
The Joker is the Joker, full stop.
Let’s face it, everybody knows how the Internet gets with reboots and superhero stories these days—and Redditor Smileimhigh thinks that all the clues towards a possible Joker twist are just red herrings to get us talking about the DC movie universe. Well, it’s totally working. Good job, Warner Bros. You totally did it.