Jared Leto allegedly didn’t respond well to losing Joker to Joaquin Phoenix. The Oscar-winning actor played the Clown Prince of Crime once in Suicide Squad in 2016 before the role was given to Joaquin Phoenix for a standalone Joker origin film not tied to the existing DCEU. Joker came as a surprise to fans, but for Jared Leto, it may have been a rather unpleasant one.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, when former Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara and Toby Emmerich greenlit Joker, actor Jared Leto felt alienated and upset. It’s unclear if this is based on something Jared Leto said and it should be taken as a rumor until we hear Jared Leto’s account of events (if we ever do), but if true, it’s kind of understandable that the actor felt that way. This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard Jared Leto wasn’t happy about Joker either.
Back in 2017 when Joker was coming together and before Joaquin Phoenix was cast, it was reported that Jared Leto was allegedly caught off guard by news of the film and that he expressed his displeasure at the multiple cinematic Jokers to his agents at CAA. In addition, following the announcement of Joker, Jared Leto did say that he was confused by what was going on at DC and with his character.
So to hear that he apparently felt alienated and upset at Joker would be in keeping with the existing rumors about his feelings on the matter. And if Jared Leto did feel alienated and upset by the Joaquin Phoenix film, no one could really blame him.
Jared Leto is an Oscar-winning actor and he had just played Joker in 2016’s Suicide Squad, so he might have felt like chop liver when another actor was given the role. Just as there was among the fandom, there was surely confusion about what his future would be with the character and if he was being pushed out for some reason.
This must have been quite frustrating for the actor to feel like he was being replaced, especially after Suicide Squad. It seems that a lot of Joker scenes in David Ayer’s film were left on the cutting room floor so he arguably didn’t get a fair shake at the character and audiences didn’t get the full picture of his portrayal. It would be understandable for Jared Leto to feel alienated or feel like he was being penalized for something that wasn’t entirely his fault.
For a while it seemed like we might get more of Jared Leto’s Joker when it was announced that he would be getting his own standalone Joker film. There was also talk of a Joker and Harley Quinn movie. Neither of those things ever materialized (yet) and Jared Leto’s Joker is not in any of the upcoming movies you might think he would be in.
Jared Leto is not in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad and he won’t be hanging out with Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey so his future is an open question. The actor has said he’d love to return to the role but before that happens (if it ever does) he will be returning to comic book movies on the Marvel side of things as the titular living vampire in Sony’s Morbius.
Joker is now playing and Morbius hits theaters on July 31, 2020. Check out our 2020 Release Schedule to see what other big movies are coming next year.