Jared Leto is seemingly finished with the role of the Joker after just Suicide Squad.
A new report from The Hollywood Reporter suggests that Warner Bros. are not particularly interested in calling up Jared Leto to play the Joker again, as he will not be appearing in The Suicide Squad or next year’s Birds of Prey (which is rumored to have a brief cameo from the Joker with a stand-in actor, whose face will be obscured). This report comes shortly after the release of Joker, which stars Joaquin Phoenix in an Elseworlds-style take on the supervillain. While Joaquin Phoenix was not hired with the expectation of doing a sequel and the story was meant to be a one-off, the project’s existence did not sit well will Jared Leto, who saw himself as the only actor who would play the character on the big screen for years to come.
Jared Leto’s tenure as the Joker was short, but no less controversial. Being hired to play the character in Suicide Squad, his appearance in the film was highly-anticipated until it was revealed that the character would be receiving a tattooed makeover, complete with a grill. During filming, set reports got out that Jared Leto’s commitment to method acting was so extensive that he offered several “gifts” to cast members (such as a live rat to Margot Robbie) that left them uncomfortable. James Gunn has also added that he did not believe that Joker’s presence in the sequel was necessary.
Jared Leto was initially led to believe that he was going to star in a Joker standalone film after Suicide Squad, but Warner Bros. shelved it in favor of Todd Phillips’ film, to his disappointment. Ultimately, much of Jared Leto’s performance as the Joker was excised from the version of Suicide Squad that hit theaters, but what was shown was met with a significant amount of criticism. Conversely, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker has been met with universal acclaim, even from those that find Joker too nihilistic to appreciate. As such, one Warner Bros. insider has told THR that it’s not likely that we’ll be seeing more of Jared Leto in the DC Films franchise:
“How do you play the Joker you established following [Joaquin Phoenix]? It kind of ends his Joker run.”
Jared Leto has seemingly moved on to star in Morbius, which is set for release on July 31, 2020. It’s also possible that Matt Reeves could cast his own version of the Joker in his trilogy of Batman films, but it does not appear that the Joker will be involved in the first one at all.
David Ayer’s Suicide Squad followed a team of supervillains who were recruited by the government for a dangerous black ops mission in exchange for reduced sentences. The sequel will see the return of four cast members from that film: Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, and Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag.
James Gunn is expected to deliver on the fresh take on the supervillain team in his upcoming movie, with Idris Elba playing a new character on the team, David Dastmalchian starring as Polka-Dot Man, Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher, and Steve Agee voicing King Shark. Other cast members confirmed for the ensemble picture include John Cena, Storm Reid, Flula Borg, Nathan Fillion, Taika Waititi, Peter Capaldi, Michael Rooker, Sean Gunn, Mayling Ng, Jennifer Holland, Pete Davidson, Juan Diego Botto, Alice Braga, Tinashe Kajese, Julio Ruiz, and Joaquín Cosío.
James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad will be released in theaters on August 6, 2021. Stay tuned to us for the latest news regarding Jared Leto and the Joker.