new joker images

There is a lot going on in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and it remains to be seen exactly how the film will find time for the Man of Steel, the Dark Knight, an immortal Amazon warrior, an intrepid journalist, an insane industrialist, a badass butler, and whoever the heck Scoot McNairy is playing. On paper, the film looks as stuffed as any major movie in recent memory.

And, at one point, there was even more. In a new interview, director Zack Snyder revealed that the Joker and the Riddler, two of the most popular members of Batman’s Rogue’s Gallery, were once going to appear in the film.

Speaking with Collider, Snyder revealed that these two iconic villains were cut for the exact reason you’d expect – the film simply needed more time to focus on Batman and Superman. You know, the characters whose names are in the title of the movie:

The Joker and The Riddler both came close to being in this movie. We talked about the possibility of putting them in. [Screenwriter] Chris Terrio and I talked about it a lot and felt that their mythological presence is felt in the movie and that’s cool, but I didn’t want to get my eye too far off the ball because I needed to spend the time, frankly, with Batman and Superman to understand the conflict.

But what does he mean by “their mythological presence is felt in the movie”? We’ve all seen the shot in the trailer where Bruce Wayne looks upon the costume of a fallen Robin, defaced with the words “Joke’s on you, Batman.” And then there was some familiar-looking question mark graffiti spotted on a column in one of the earliest trailers. This is probably the best way to build a DC universe where Batman has been active for twenty years: suggest that his key villains have been active alongside him, rather than wait to introduce them and give them origin stories in future films.

Also, this interview lends some credence to the rumors that Jared Leto was going to make a cameo in Batman v Superman, possibly in a flashback that showed us exactly what happened to Batman’s former sidekick. Could this be one of the scenes that makes it into the three-hour director’s cut? Heck, could this be the reason it will be rated R?

Elsewhere, in a completely separate interview with Collider, Snyder was grilled about the Justice League movie and revealed that the film actually doesn’t have an official title yet:

Right now the working title is Justice League. Actually, I’m in that phase where I’ve been drawing logos and I’ve been drawing title treatments and stuff like that to try and figure out what it means, what Justice League is, visually, so we’ll see if the name evolves with this visual presentation.

Justice League: Part 1 really doesn’t have much of a ring to it. How about Justice League: Justice Has Dawned and Here It Is, Happy Now?

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25, 2016. Justice League begins shooting next month for a November 16, 2017 release date.

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