Film Theory: Can the Joker Save DC Films? (Suicide Squad Pt. 2)

Film Theory: Can the Joker Save DC Films? (Suicide Squad Pt. 2)


Last time on Film Theory– So there you have it. All three Jokers fit cleanly into the three Joker comic model. But then, that prompts the question: Now that Jared Leto is playing the Joker in Suicide Squad, is he a whole new character, Or which Joker line would he be continuing? MOBIUS CHAIR! Tell me! Who is Jared Leto’s Joker?! Today! The thrilling conclusion!! [INTRO MUSIC] Hello internet Welcome to Film Theory! With an episode that’s going to spend more time analyzing the Joker’s Suicide Squad appearance than the time he actually spent on screen in the movie. Seriously, it was like, “Harley, I’m coming for you in a helicopter.” *sshhh–BOOM* “Never mind…see you next movie…” But don’t let the brevity of his appearance fool you. He’s probably the most important part of the film, and definitely a whole lot more important than that hula-dancing enchantress. Because his connection to the three-Joker theory leaves the door WIDE open to some huge revelations about the DC film universe and where it might be headed next. Last time we took a look at the three-Joker theory, the fact that the three live-action versions of the Joker from the movies perfectly correspond to the HUGE reveal in DC comics that there were three different Jokers running amok. There’s the Jack Nicholson Joker from the golden age; the mob-boss mass-murderer, the Cesar Romero Joker from the silver age of comics; a bank-heisting prankster, and the Heath Ledger Joker from the bronze age and modern age of comics; the psychopathic agent of chaos. If you haven’t seen that last episode, click on this Bat signal and grapple hook your way over to that video. But now we tackle the fourth and final live-action Joker: Suicide Squad’s Jared Leto. How does HE fit into all of this? Well, it turns out Jared Leto isn’t a new Joker at all; he’s just a reboot of one of the prior versions we’ve already seen. So the question is… Which Joker is he? (Snazzy background music) Will it be… Joker number 1? Joker number 2? Or Joker number 3? Jared Leto…Your dream Joker match is… The golden age Joker, Jack Nicholson! He’s a mobster with a penchant for crushed purple velvet, who’ll always keep you smiling. He loves long walks on the beach and dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight. But why? Well, just look at the evidence. First, they both revel in violence. The Nicholson Joker and Jared Leto both are killers who ENJOY killing. We see it time and again in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman; Jack Nicholson gleefully incinerating people with electrified hand buzzers, dancing around while shooting former partners, stabbing political figures in public with pens while Bruce Wayne wanders around the crime scene like an idiot. Now look at Suicide Squad, where the Joker is frequently wielding a machine gun, gleefully spraying gunfire everywhere. Throughout the movie, we also see him repeatedly playing mind games with other criminals before either killing them or having them killed. This means that we can solidly rule out the Cesar Romero Joker because he was from the silver age, where violence and gore were all but white-washed out of comics. He was just the kooky, kuh-RAZY prankster who used wacky props to rob banks. Writers of the Silver age comics specifically wanted the Joker to be more creative, resourceful with his weaponry. Never resorting to traditional guns and knives. And now look at Suicide Squad’s iconic knife arrangement scene. Not only does it reveal Joker’s OCD tendencies and introduce the world to the verbal equivalent of the slow clap– HA– HA– HA– Seriously, that laugh is a slow clap. –but it reveals that Leto’s Joker ain’t showing the same ingenuity with his armory. –guns, knives– –more guns, more knives– Cesar is out! Seeing that all you guys were worried that I’d spoiled this video with the thumbnail from last time. I pay attention to this stuff. But, then what about Heath Ledger’s Bronze Age Joker? Well, just think back to the Dark
Knight. Ledger’s Joker is a loner, insane, out-of-control, answering to no one. He appears and disappears
randomly, surprising and often turning on the gangs who hired him. This clearly
doesn’t match up with the Jared Leto Joker–I mean, seriously, Suicide Squad’s Joker is like the Kanye West of Gotham, a social butterfly that traded in his
shutter sunglasses for a blinged-out grill. I mean, the guy hangs out in clubs with his entourage. For crying out loud, he has a girlfriend WHO, it’s worth mentioning, we see him risk his life several times to save. He’s surrounded by henchmen who act less
like cronies and more like Bronies! Or, I guess just like bros, really. it’s the
first time that we ever see the Joker with a social circle–or is it? Turns out
the Jack Nicholson Joker matches Jared Leto when it comes to this little posse
of his. just like Leto, Jack is a crime boss with an army of disposable henchmen at his–um–disposal. In fact, both our mob bosses rule over organized crime in Gotham. They mobilize huge efforts to do things like attack art museums or break
into maximum-security prisons. And the important part about all of this that
these activities have literally nothing to do with Batman. In fact, Batman’s only role there is to get in the way of everything. For Heath Ledger’s Joker, his goals only ever revolve around Batman. It goes back to what we talked about last episode: the Bronze Age Joker is totally dependent on Batman: The Yin to his Yang; the sunny to share; the third pairing that should be funny and isn’t coming to mind right now. But the Golden Age Joker’s doesn’t! His crimes and schemes planned Batman is only a roadblock to completing those. So there you have it: Jared Leto’s Joker is a reinvention of the Golden Age OG Joker of the comics, the grinning Jack Nicholson ask mobster. That’s been softly confirmed by Suicide Squad’s director that he went into the Golden Age origins of the character when deciding how the Joker would fit into this new movie’s world. “But so what?” I hear you saying. “Why’d you force me to wait on a cliffhanger just for this?” Excellent
question Strawman Commenter, your patience will be well-worth it because
knowing how Leto fits in with the three Joker theory has some wild implications about the DCU. You see, one of the major ways DC’s comic universe differs from
that of Marvel’s is its emphasis on parallel worlds. The concept allowed writers the creative freedom to explore alternative versions of characters and their
histories without contradicting the established continuity of the main
universe. The modern version of this dates back to 1961, when the writers of
The Flash were trying to figure out a way for Golden Age versions of
characters to appear in stories alongside their Silver Age counterparts. Thus began a story titled, “Flash of Two Worlds,” in which Barry Allen, the modern
Flash, travels to another Earth, accidentally vibrating at the right
speed to appear on another planet where he meets Jay Garrick, that parallel
Earth’s version of the Flash. TL:DL, Too Long Didn’t Listen, They created parallel Earths to try and
explain away the over-complicated stories. Because using physical cosmology
hypotheses is always going to make things simpler, am I right? Yeah, who’s with me? Don’t leave me hanging; high-five years-your screen right now. Please. PLEASE don’t leave me hanging. I have a perpetual fear of being left hanging.
PLEASE HIGH-FIVE YOUR SCREEN RIGHT NOW. *WHOO* Thank you. Anyway, the number and canonicity of these alternate universes have buried over the years due to DC’s
policy abusing or abandoning the concept at various points in its history with
the number of Earths going anywhere between fifty-two to infinity–AND BEYOND.
Earth One is most famous for being inhabited by the Silver Age heroes. Earth Two’s claim to fame is being the universe where Quebec is an
independent nation from Canada. Oh, and it’s also home to the Golden Age version of these characters. And then that would leave Earth Three as the home to the Bronze Age characters right? HA! Yeah, I wish. That would have made this episode a whole lot easier to write. No, Earth Three is Backwards History Earth, a world where Christopher Columbus discovered Europe instead of America and where morality is reversed, showcasing evil versions of all your favorite heroes. And no, I’m not
making any of this up it’s basically the DC equivalent to Fanfiction Earth. if
you’re looking for the Bronze Age heroes, they’re scattered around the various
multiverse timeline, so since we’re specifically talking about Batman,
everyone’s favorite grizzled, rodent-themed detective from “The Dark Knight Returns,” can be found on Earth Thirty-one. Thirty-one, OBVIOUSLY, why would you think to look there? Well, uh, sorry, he WAS on Earth Thirty-one until a reworking of the universes made Earth Thirty-one home to the PIRATE versions of these
characters. You think I’m joking, but I swear, I swear it is all real. That’s a very general overview of how DC’s Comics work, but what’s it got to do with the Joker? Well, DC hasn’t been content with just leaving the parallel universe concept solely to the pages of the
comics. From the very first episode of the Flash TV series, the creators have
been hinting at the existence of the DC multiverse. “Dimensional barrier ruptured, unleashing unknown energies into our world–antimatter, dark energy,
x-elements–“”Those are all theoretical.” Uh, yes, blobitty physics gibberish. Particles. Eureka, we’ve gotten it. But then later that same episode, a newspaper mentions a crisis and red skies. Both of these are references to DC’s
“crisis” comics perhaps most famously “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” which are
always these massive evente spanning all of the main franchises where the
parallel Earths, pirate worlds included, cross over to solve some cataclysmic
threats. If DC is building to a franchise crossover on a scale larger than Justice League, this would likely be the type of story they’d try to tackle. And it seems like they’re interested. Since that first episode, “The Flash” has built much more of its main plot around multiverses, including a visit to Earth Two. Season Two, Episode Thirteen of “The Flash” was a hub of crossovers, confirming a shared cannon with both the Supergirl TV show and another DCTV franchise, “Legends of
Tomorrow.” Now, during the last video, I brought up DC creative chief Geoff Johns and how he was a key player in the cinematic
universe, as well as the three Joker reveale. Now, in an interview with
BuzzFeed, he’s also mentioned the magic “M”-word–multiverse. Quote: “Well, ‘Arrow’ and ‘Flash’ are the same universe, and we get a lot of great story out of that — especially when we have episodes that cross them over, but that’s also where
our superhero universe lives. We look at it as the multiverse. We have our TV
universe and our film universe, but they all co-exist.” So clearly, the groundwork for a DC multiverse exists and is on their mind, but then we have Dark Side. As hinted at as one of batman’s fever dreams in “Batman v Superman,” the heroes will soon be forced to fight against a villain whose signature is the Omega
symbol, one of the biggest baddies of DC Comics, and the main antagonist to the Justice League: Dark Side. So very clearly, we know that this guy’s coming, but based on the comics, we also know that he’s a villain who just so happens to cross
multiverses quite frequently and has been known to kill off some major
players on some of these versions of Earth. So what does it all mean? Well
let’s look at the three-Joker theory one last time: we have a Golden Age Joker in Suicide Squad and a Bronze Age Joker in the Dark Knight. We have an old Batman unafraid to murder in recent DC movies and also one who is significantly less
murdery in the dark knight trilogy. We have a comics franchise known for
crossing over its multiverses and a movie division fighting against the
juggernaut of Marvel, fallen victim time and again to negative reviews. So
considering all of this, there’s one trump card on the table for DC that does everything they needed to do. It differentiates them from Marvel, provides huge fan service, has the potential to reset all their missteps with movie lore, delivers a massive box office, and all while still adhering to their comic
roots: creating a parallel universe crossover; a crisis event. That’s right! A Christian Bale-Ben Affleck Batman team to fight the combined powers of the mob boss Jared Leto Joker and the unhinged chaos bringer of the Bronze Age Heath Ledger equivalent. Sure, Marvel has its Avengers: it’s just the Justice League
with different faces. But an inter-series crossover where multiple
generations of actors who played the same character team up? It’s the ONE
thing DC has that Marvel doesn’t. Golden Age, crossing over with Bronze Age, crossing over with Silver Age, for that matter! Who WOULDN’T love to see Christopher Reeve, film’s most iconic Superman, reminisce with the Man of Steel over
their parallel universe Marthas? Everyone loves talking about their mothers so
much and I get goosebumps just thinking about a lineup of Batman doing a slow-motion hero walk. Keaton, Clooney, Kilmer, Affleck, Bale, West! Heck, throw on the kid from Gotham and LEGO Batman! He’s got a movie coming up, too! Who WOULDN’T want to see that? It’s like those episodes of power rangers where all the past seasons get together to do one massive battle, ‘cept with Batman and versions of the Joker. Heck, while you’re at it, throw in Superman teaming up with pirate Superman to fight evil Superman. Long story short, the table is set for an intra-character crossover. Flashes with flashes. Batmen with
Batmen. And at a time when DC’s movies are undergoing a bit of a crisis, a
crisis might just be the thing that they need to solve all of their problems.
Thank the three Jokers for that one, but Hey! That’s just a theory! A FILM theory! Aaaaannnd cut! Speaking of epic crossovers, check out my dear friends over at the Wisecrack channel, who just did a video about
Batman v Superman that got me to look at the whole movie in a completely new
light. I mean, have you ever stopped to consider that the movie is commenting on the similarities between lex luthor and Batman? Yeah! I didn’t either, but their video
does an amazing job making it seem like this movie had a lot more meaning behind it than it actually does. I mean, it’s still a convoluted mess, but
it’s almost like they intended it to have a deeper message–one that the
Wisecrack team will make you truly appreciate. So make sure that you
Superman slap that button right there and tell ’em that MatPat sent ya. Proves that I have value in life. But in all seriousness, guys, if you enjoyed this
channel, then PLEASE check out Wisecrack. They’re one of the few channels on
YouTube that really do an amazing job of finding the balance between educational content, but also videos that are funny and enjoyable to watch. They specialize in videos with a purpose, deeper meaning, all while being entertained What more can you ask for? This is the information age, so anything that makes the information easier to swallow’s
definitely worth your time, so PLEASE– you owe it to yourself to carve off five
minutes of your time and check them out. Odds are you’re not going to be
disappointed. Or, if you want more theories about “The Dark Knight,” check out this video where we calculate how Batman fails Gotham simply by kissing Catwoman at the end of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Based on the calculations, if he hadn’t
slipped her the tongue, thousands of lives would have been saved, but more on that over there. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to…ROLL OUT!

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Doesnt that mean tim drake is the first joker, because MatPat other theroy shows jared letto joker has tim drake the 3rd robin

  2. I think that you made this video to just discuss your love of Batman. I actually enjoyed them though. Batman was a big part of my childhood because I had a little brother who was only two years younger than I, and Batman was his favorite superhero. However, I only saw the original Batman movie so this was incredibly interesting.

  3. Just wanted to say I dont follow the DC world like at all (minus the new aquaman cause seriously that was better than anyone expected) but I just love these theories. Any excuse to try n unravel the labyrinth that is your mind is why I tune in what ever the topic

  4. Well he kinda predicted it but DC is doing Crisis on Infinite Earths in the TV series and they are bringing in some actors who played heros in the past as part of the multiverse.

  5. I would kill someone to see a 17th century pirate themed Batman movie or series with a Black Sails tone and Raid Redemption martial arts. Even a 17th century Justice League for that matter.

  6. How does he always get this stuff right with the crisis on infinite earths event coming up, this was 3 years ago!!

  7. okay congrats i don't hate suicide squad's joker anymore, now seeing that there is 3 forms of joker i now know i only like the psycho one but the criminal one is okay

  8. heath ledger played the joker so well it killed him The movie came out on July 18, 2008 then heath ledger died on January 22, 2008 soon after they where done filming 😀

  9. dude standing in corner: "ohhhh I get it now!!" 🙂

    me:*walks over to man in corner*

    me again: "wait yo what the frick did he explain I missed the whole first part"

    man in corner: "slaps hand against forehead"

  10. DC: matpat gave us a great idea people get to the drawing……
    MARVEL: doctor Strange and multiverse of madness
    DC: oh what the flip

  11. Nice theory it would be great in live action but overpassing marvel LoL😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  12. So Jared Leto is the disfigured joker who loves to kill joker number 1 joker number 2 is Joaquin Phoenix the reboot of heath ledger they both lie they both are mental and psychopathic, now we wait for joker number 3 no problem

  13. To all the Joaquin Phoenix comments, he's the Heath Ledger Joker due to his mental illness.

    Q: But didn't MatPat said that Heath Ledger's Joker required Batman to live?
    A: Although MatPat DID state in his part 1 video that Heath Ledger needed Batman, the movie was the origin/beginning of Joker, and we never saw Batman in the movie, ergo he didn't meet him yet

    Q: Why would he not be one of the other Jokers?
    A: The silver age Joker is a prankster that never killed, Joaquin Phoenix' Joker, did in fact, kill people. While the bronze age Joker was thrown into acid that deformed his face and turned him insane, which never happened.

    Thank you for coming to my TedTalk.

  14. I think Joaquin Phoenix’s joker should replace Heath Ledger, Heath Ledger should replace Jack Nicholson, and Ceaser Romero should stay the same. Because honestly, who cares about Jared Leto lol

  15. I think the Joaquin Phoenix Joker is the bronze/ modern one then? Cause he’s mentally unstable and antisocial. Plus, he seems to like the lil Batman.

  16. Umm I'm sorry but Batbale vs JokerLeto will happen cause Ben Afleck retired and Heath Ledger……..

    But JokerPhoenix Might come

  17. I never finished this and it’s crazy to think that matpat mentions both the arrowverse and Superman returns in a theory that talks about the crisis on infinite earths as that is what is leaked about the arrowverse crisis.

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