Jared Leto's turn as the famous bleach-skinned, green-haired antagonist was heavily trailed ahead of the release of David Ayer's new super-villain caper
- but audiences were left disappointed after The Joker appeared on screen for just a tiny fraction of the movie.
It was later revealed that a significant number of scenes featuring Leto had been cut from the film's final version.
The 44-year-old star has now controversially observed that one sure-fire way to get the additional material released would be for him to die young - and by suggesting that the emergence of previously unseen material is one of the "good things" about the death of an actor.
Asked during an
interview whether or not he was upset about his scenes being cut, Leto said: "Were there any that didn't get cut? I'm asking you, were there any that didn't get cut? There were so many scenes that got cut from the movie, I couldn't even start. I think that the Joker... we did a lot of experimentation on the set, we explored a lot. There's so much that we shot that's not in the film."
"If I die anytime soon, it's probably likely that it'll surface somewhere," he added. "That's the good news about the death of an actor is all that stuff seems to come out."
One of the final performances of actor Heath Ledger, who died in 2008, was as The Joker in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, which was released after his death (and for which he was posthumously awarded an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor).
Of course, there's no indication that Leto was intentionally referencing Ledger's death. But given the inevitable comparisons that have been made between the two performances - Leto is the first person to portray the character on film since 2008 - it's hard to avoid making the link.
Previously, Leto has spoken about how much he admired Ledger's Joker, describing his performance as "perfect" in a recent GQ interview.
"There's not a single frame where he's not great," he said. "Not only was he [Ledger] perfect in that role, but it's probably one of the best performances, not just of a villain but maybe one of the best performances on film, period. Period. That's my opinion."
He added that, because the character had also been played by "legend" Jack Nicholson, Cesar Romero and Mark Hamill, he felt "a great sense of freedom and permission to walk down a different path" when he accepted the role.
While the exact extent of the cut material hasn't been confirmed, Leto recently suggested, in an interview with BBC Radio, that it would be enough to provide a standalone Joker movie.
"I think that I brought so much to the table in every scene that it was probably more about filtering all of the insanity, because I wanted to give a lot of options, and I think there's probably enough footage in this film for a Joker movie," he said.
It was alleged last week that the production of Suicide Squad was beset with problems, with Warner Bros pushing for a lighter, more comedic tone (and even producing their own cut, to counteract Ayers's gloomier version, before attempting to clumsily blend the two).
A rumoured list of some of the deleted scenes has since appeared on a Reddit thread, posted by user Naydawwwg (via Screen Rant).
If true, the list indicates that early cuts of the film included more of Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje's Killer Croc, a character many fans feel was sidelined in the final version, as well as significantly more Joker material.
It also suggests that the film originally featured a scene in which the Joker "backhands [girlfriend Harley Quinn] across the face".
Suicide Squad has already caused controversy due to the inclusion of scenes in which female characters (including Harley Quinn) are punched in the face.
What scense were deleted?
"In early cuts, the movie's opening detailed June Moon's posession by Enchantress in real tome. Reshoots reshuffled the scene to be later in the movie in flashback form in favour of a new opening centered on Deadshot."
"Deadshot in the prison cell, watching the rain fall and thinking about his daughter."
"El Diablo observing the flame of a lit match, before putting it out due to his vow to no longer use his powers."
"El Diablo being escorted to a training center by being placed in a tube that fills with water to quel his flames, and then unceremoniously dropped onto the ground."
"Early interviews showed Captain Boomerang's racism and sexism, but the movie is light on examples of such behaviour, which have apparently been deleted. Most of them were reportedly directed at Katana, to whom Boomerang is attracted to."
"Early reports indicated more backstory for Killer Croc, revealing that he spent his entire life as a social outcast due to his physical appearance and has convinced himself that he is beautiful in his own way. Croc crossed paths with Batman while working as muscle-for-hire for numerous Gotham's crime bosses, while secretly planning to take over one day. There were also scenes displaying his affinity for making sculptures out of discarded materials. Aside from jokes about Croc viewing himself as 'beautiful,' one of these were retained in the final cut."
"Also deleted was a scene where he becomes sick at the helicopter escort to Midway City, throws up half-digested pieces of goat, and then eats them again, disgusting the nearby Navy Seals."
"Early cuts reportedly included a passing reference to Slipknot being serial rapist, likely to further paint him as unsympathetic to the audience ahead of his own death."
"More scenes of Rick Flag and June Moon's romantic relationship, including him reading the files of the Suicide Squad recruits after Waller delivers them to him."
"Another scene where Flag and Moon are out on a date."
"Extended scene of Joker interrogating Captain Griggs, including the line, "I can't wait to show you my toys," which was in every trailer, but was removed from the movie."
"Joker and his men escaping after shooting up a restaurant. Harley, who is already affiliated with the Joker, follows them on a motorcycle and intercepts their car. Joker bangs his head against the glass in frustration."
"Joker and Harley then get into a fight, which ends with Harley pointing a gun at Joker's head. Joker sweet-talks Harley into lowering the gun, charming her, then backhands her across the face. Afterwards he sweet-talks her again and they kiss."
"Extended Ace Chemicals scene where Harley jumps into the chemicals. More bits of dialogue from Joker."
"Extended Batmobile chase scene with more interaction between Joker and Harley. One of the examples, presented in all the trailers, is the Joker punching the roof of his car."
"Harley using her baseball bat as a mock gun to play shoot at invisible foes."
"Extended scene of Joker breaking into the nanobomb manufacture facility to arrange for Harley's neck-bomb to be disabled."
"More interactions between Harley and Boomerang. Early cuts apparently included her really disliking him despite growing affectionate to all the other members of the squad."
"Extended bar scene with Harley taking everyone's orders. Deadshot calls for a shot, Katana wants whiskey, Croc and Boomerang settle for beer, Harley asks Diablo wants and he prefers water which she jokes, "is a good idea." The scene was featured in the trailers, but in the movie it cuts directly to Deadshot's speech about them all almost pulling the mission off."
"Removed several scenes with the Joker to repaint his relationship with Harley as more loving rather than abusive."
"Joker and Harley get into an argument after he rescues her in the hijacked helicopter. In early cuts he reportedly pushes her out to kill her, then the helicopter gets shot down. This was apparently reworked into the helicopter getting shot down first and Joker pushing her out to save her."
"Joker returns during the final battle in the subway station, face half-burnt from the helicopter crash, which apparently leads to a brief altercation with the Squad. He calls for Harley to escape with him but she refuses for once in order to help her friends, and the Joker escapes after throwing a live grenade at the group to cover his own escape."