Jared Leto was reportedly left feeling “alienated and upset” by the announcement of Todd Phillips’ Joker movie. Leto briefly played the iconic villain in 2016’s Suicide Squad with mixed reactions from fans. While many weren’t into what the 30 Seconds to Mars front man was trying to do, there were many comic book fans who wanted to see more of what he could do since he barely had any screen time. So, when whispers of a standalone movie started making the rounds in 2017, many just assumed Leto would be reprising the role.
Joker was first announced in 2017 by Warner Bros. and it was made clear that Jared Leto would not be taking on the role this time around. At the time, it was heavily rumored that Martin Scorsese was on board to direct and that Leonardo DiCaprio was going to play the villain outside of the DCEU. “Kevin Tsujihara greenlit Joker, which cost less than $70 million, leaving Jared Leto – who played Joker in Suicide Squad – alienated and upset by the move,” says a new report on the matter. Scorsese later went from directing the movie to producing, and ended up doing some minor consultant work with Todd Phillips before leaving the project completely.
Back when Joker was first announced, it was reported that Jared Leto “was caught off guard by the plans” and that he is said to have “made his displeasure with the notion of multiple Jokers known to his CAA agents, and rival agency WME has been using the concern to court him.” Leto has yet to make a statement about the deal publicly, but one can imagine it was not the greatest news to receive. Leto threw himself into the role for Suicide Squad and barely had any time on screen.
Related: Joker Would’ve Had Post-Credit Bloopers If Joaquin Phoenix Got His Way
Jared Leto tried to do something new with the Clown Prince of Crime and was unfortunately not given enough time to properly develop the character. While it was rumored that Leonardo DiCaprio was going to star in Joker, Todd Phillips says it was always Joaquin Phoenix’s role. The project gave Phoenix the time to stretch out and properly do what Leto had wanted to do all along. Now, it’s unclear if the actor will be coming back to Warner Bros. for more.
Joker is getting a lot of unwanted attention at the moment, but it is also receiving free publicity at the same time. It would be pretty interesting to get Jared Leto’s thoughts on the matter, especially after he just finished Morbius the Living Vampire for Sony’s Marvel imprint. Whatever the case may be, it doesn’t look like we’re going to see very much of the Joker on the big screen in the near future. Set photos from Birds of Prey have proven that someone, not Leto, was playing the villain as he throws Harley Quinn’s clothing out the window, but that looks like a very small cameo. The Hollywood Reporter was the first to reveal Jared Leto’s initial feelings on the Joker movie.