In this day and age, superheroes truly rule the world. From comic books to movies to video games, everywhere you look is a person dressed in colorful tights, ready to save the day. Despite its cinematic universe being utterly divisive (between those who view it as a major flop and those who view it its first few movies as stepping stones to something great), DC has dominated the market when it comes to superhero-based video games. Fans have been waiting in eager anticipation as the sequel to the hit game Injustice: Gods Among Us is nearing its release. Although Injustice 2 doesn't have an official release date or a finalized roster of characters, it's never too early to start getting excited, especially when new reports suggest we'll be seeing the game hit shelves in early 2017. With the recent release of new game footage showing a Margot Robbie-esque Harley Quinn and a Deadshot clearly resembling Will Smith in Suicide Squad, there is one huge question that has to be answered.
Will Jared Leto's Joker Appear In Injustice 2?
Just as the DCEU itself divides fans, so does Jared Leto's portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime. Personally, I'm on the side that we didn't see nearly enough of his performance in Suicide Squad to judge him, but other people feel very differently. According to Warner Bros., Injustice 2 is set to feature the "the biggest DC roster ever offered in a fighting game." In order to live up to that promise, the game is going to have to feature a ton of characters, as Injustice: Gods Among Us had nearly 30 playable characters (counting DLC) as well as numerous costumes for many of the characters. Currently, Injustice 2 only has 11 characters and so far, Mistah J isn't included — though, of course, eventually he has to be. Given that Harley Quinn and Deadshot already resemble their cinematic counterparts the safe bet would be Jared Leto's tatted Joker will be available, however, it might not be as straightforward as it appears. Why?
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Injustice 2 Is Introducing A "Gear System"
Now, if Leto's Joker isn't an available preset costume that's unlockable in the game (as many of the costumes were in the original game), my bet is his current signature movie look will be able to come to life through the new "Gear System." This new loot-dropping system allows players more customization of their favorite comic book characters. In a similar fashion to RPGs, at the end of every match the winning player will receive some loot. This loot is set to be a new character-specific costume piece. These piece will also offer practical advantages, such as boosts in speed or strength, as well as looking super badass. Given this information, my guess would be that you will be able to randomly acquire certain pieces of Jared Leto's Joker costume as you win matches while playing as the Jester of Genocide.
Will The Game Developers Exclude Leto For His Recent Comments?
Despite everything above, there is the possibility that Jared Leto's Joker won't be allowed in the game. The only reason I can think of that this would be the case, is that Leto's recent comments that he didn't get enough screen time in Suicide Squad. Leto was quite vocal for weeks after the premiere of Suicide Squad, making it known he was unhappy about how many of his scenes were cut even though he is contractually obligated to play the character again. He even went so far as to say "fuck 'em" in regard to certain stipulations in his contract that he was unhappy with. To Warner Bros. this might seem like a spoiled child acting selfish because he didn't get exactly what he wanted. All of these remarks might have hurt Leto in the long run, and perhaps he won't get to appear in the video game (though I hardly doubt he'd be broken up about it).
Only time will tell if Leto makes it into Injustice 2, but given the scope of the project and the amount of customization promised it almost seems like a no-brainer. I have no doubt Joker will be playable in the game — after all he is the biggest Batman villain ever, but whether Leto's portrayal will find its way into the game is up in the air. Hopefully we'll be seeing Joker, Red Hood, Beast Boy, Darkseid and many other fan favorite find their way to the list of characters, but until then let's enjoy some of the wonderful game footage.