Jared Leto reportedly had trouble putting on a happy face when hearing about the new Joker movie.
According to a story published by The Hollywood Reporter detailing how former Joker producer Martin Scorsese may have contributed to the film after dropping his producing credit, Jared Leto who played the Joker in 2016’s Suicide Squad was none too pleased about studio Warner Bros. moving forward with the Joker origin story film starring Joaquin Phoenix.
Reportedly, Leto was left feeling out in the cold when former Warner Bros. president Kevin Tsujihara and current studio chief Toby Emmerich decided to give the project the greenlight. Emmerich is said to have, quote, “loved the script” that Phillips co-wrote with Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Scott Silver, though he did reportedly feel that the gritty nature of the story might fit better outside of the standard DC Extended Universe, of which Suicide Squad is a part. Nonetheless, Emmerich was taken with Joker, as was Tsujihara, and the rest is history.
Neither Leto nor any representatives of his have come forward to confirm or deny the claim that he was hurt over the Phoenix-led Joker, but the actor’s purported reaction to hearing the news of the project getting the greenlight may be accurate given past Joker-related events.
As fans know, Leto’s Joker didn’t have nearly as prominent a role in Suicide Squad as expected. His involvement essentially amounted to an extended cameo rather than a starring part, which left audiences and Leto disappointed and confused.
Director David Ayer even admitted that he should have included more of Leto’s Joker in the film. In an open letter published in January 2017, Ayer wrote:
“Wish I had a time machine. I’d make Joker the main villain and engineer a more grounded story. I have to take the good and bad and learn from it.”
That considered, one can easily see how Leto may have felt alienated and upset when Warner Bros. chose to go ahead with Phillips and Phoenix’s Joker movie, the idea for which Phillips pitched to Warner Bros. in August 2016, the same month that Suicide Squad opened in theaters. Learning one year later that a different actor would get the chance to play the Joker in his very own solo movie very well might have crushed Leto’s spirits even if Warner Bros. executives emphasized that the project wouldn’t be the end of Leto’s Joker. Keep watching the video to see that Leto was apparently not happy about Joaquin’s Joker movie!