Suicide Squad Is Eyeing This Oscar Winner To Play The Joker

Fans have spent years wondering whether or not we would ever see another big screen version of Batman's arch-nemesis, The Joker, back on the big screen. Heath Ledger's portrayal of the character in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight not only earned the actor a posthumous Academy Award, but also became the definitive adaptation of the villain. That being said, the birth of the DC Cinematic Universe made Joker's feature film return rather inevitable, and now reports are saying that Warner Bros. and DC Comics may have found their man.

According to The Wrap, Jared Leto is now being eyed for a role in David Ayer's upcoming Suicide Squad, and it's believed that the character he would play should he sign on would be The Joker. While the legendary villain was not featured in the original draft of the project, the director is reportedly rewriting the script and will include Joker as a player. Insiders say that the studio was originally looking at Ryan Gosling for the part, but the Drive star apparently balked at the idea of locking himself into a multi-picture contract.

We first learned about the Suicide Squad film this past September, the film centering on a team of villains who are given excessively dangerous black ops missions by the government in exchange for reduced sentences.While the revelation that The Joker might be coming back to the big screen is certainly the big news here, Jared Leto is now one of a few really big names being looked at/in talks for Suicide Squad. In addition to talk that says the film could be the second big screen appearance of Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor (who will be debuting in Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), there have also been reports saying that Warner Bros. is looking at Tom Hardy, Will Smith and Margot Robbie for key roles. It's unknown what parts they are being looked at for, but fans have been keen on pitching Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, The Joker's demented significant other. With a release date in August 2016, production is expected to start up next year, meaning that the next few months should be full of all kinds of new casting reports and rumors like this new one.

The big question that will certainly arise from this bit of news is whether or not audiences are ready for another big screen version of The Joker. It's true that Heath Ledger's death gave his performance in The Dark Knight some extra significance, and there's no denying how absolutely incredible he was - but one also can't ignore the fact that The Joker has been reinvented hundreds of different times in the past. What do you think? Is it too soon? Do you think Jared Leto has what it takes to step into not only Ledger's footsteps, but also Jack Nicholson's? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.