In addition to revealing a first look at the Joker in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the director has solved one of the biggest mysteries in Batman v. Superman

Before next month’s release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Vanity fair unveiled an official first look at Jared Leto’s Joker as he will appear in the film. Snyder also provided context for the return of the Clown Prince of Crime to the DC Extended Universe, explaining that the scene will take place in the reality of “Knightmare” first introduced in 2016. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But Snyder didn’t stop there. He also revealed more details about the shared history of these versions of Batman and the Joker, solving a key mystery in the process.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice introduced an elderly Bruce Wayne to the DCEU. This version of the character had been active as the Dark Knight for over two decades and had almost lost everything that mattered to him at the time. Among Batman’s losses was Wayne Manor, which was shown to have been reduced to ruin at some point in the past.

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While the film never revealed what had happened to Bruce’s ancestral home, Snyder explained that his multi-year plan would have shown the shared history of Batman and the Joker. “I wanted to do something where in flashbacks we learn how Robin died,” Snyder explained, “how Joker killed him and burned Wayne Manor, and everything that happened between him and Bruce.” While the reveal that Joker destroyed Wayne Manor in the DCEU is big, the event involves something even bigger: The Clown Prince of Crime knows Batman’s secret identity, just like in the comics.

In the comics, one of the cornerstones of Bruce’s crusade to protect Gotham is his secret identity. No one except those closest to him knows that the billionaire playboy is secretly the Caped Crusader. But while this is an extremely guarded secret, it is something the Joker really knows all about.

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In Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s story “Death of the Family” in 2012, in which the Joker hunted down all members of the Bat-family, it was revealed that the Clown Prince of Crime knew that Bruce is secretly Batman ever since. the first two fought each other. But even though Joker knew who Batman was under his mask, the Clown Prince of Crime didn’t pay much attention to Bruce.

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More recently, the 2020 story “Joker War” by James Tynion IV and Jorge Jiménez took this further by revealing that. while the Joker, always knowing about Bruce’s secret identity, never used that knowledge because he was saving it for a rainy day. With that moment finally arrived, Joker steals the Wayne family fortune and takes everything Bruce has, including his mansion, his company, and his gadgets.

Snyder’s revelation that the Joker burned down Wayne Manor means that the Clown Prince of Crime knows exactly who Batman is. The villain used this knowledge to destroy Bruce’s home and likely deliver a devastating blow. And this also means that when the two meet in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the Joker will know exactly who he’s talking to, making the relationship between the two that much deeper.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jeremy Irons. like Alfred Pennyworth, Diane. Lane as Martha Kent, Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, and JK Simmons as Commissioner Gordon. The film hits HBO Max on March 18.

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