If those recent rumours about him trying to block the Joaquin Phoenix-headlined Joker from being made have any truth to them, then this news probably won’t come as much of a surprise, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, Jared Leto’s days as the Clown Prince of Crime are “likely over”.
Leto made his DC Extended Universe debut as the iconic Batman villain 2016’s Suicide Squad, although his version of the character came in for some criticism – not least because of his blinged up, tattoo-heavy design (which of course was beyond the actor’s control).
Although his take wasn’t well received, Warner Bros. and DC Films seemed to have big plans for the character, announcing his return for a solo movie, as well as the team-up film Joker vs. Harley Quinn alongside Margot Robbie., although both of those projects have since been scrapped, and a stand-in was used on set for what is presumably a brief Joker cameo in next year’s Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).
When the Todd Phillips-directed solo movie was announced, Leto stated that he was “a little confused” by Warner and DC Films’ decision, and recent reports have suggested that he “bitterly complained” to his agents and manager, hoping to have them use their sway to have Warner pull the plug on the project.
He was of course unsuccessful in his efforts, and now an unnamed source has told THR that Leto’s “days as the Joker are likely over” as “how do you play the Joker you established following Phoenix? It kind of ends his Joker run.”
The future of the DCEU is a little up in the air at present; we know that Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman 1984 and Aquaman 2 will continue to be set in the shared continuity, but The Batman looks like it’s going to exist in its own universe and with Joker now the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time, a sequel to that film seems highly likely. Assuming Matt Reeves would like to make use of the villain at some point, one would have to assume DC wouldn’t want three versions of the Joker running simultaneously.
Will you be disappointed if we’ve seen the last of Leto’s Joker? Let us know in the comments below or on our social channels @FlickeringMyth…
Joker centres around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. The exploration of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study but also a broader cautionary tale.
Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix (The Sisters Brothers), Robert De Niro (Goodfellas), Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2), Bill Camp (Red Sparrow), Frances Conroy (American Horror Story), Brett Cullen (Narcos), Glenn Fleshler (Billions), Douglas Hodge (Penny Dreadful), Marc Maron (GLOW), Josh Pais (Motherless Brooklyn), Shea Whigham (Kong: Skull Island), Douglas Hodge (Robin Hood) and Dante Pereira-Olson (You Were Never Really Here).