While most people seem quite happy with Joker and the performance of Joaquin Phoenix, there is apparently one person who isn’t too keen on the film: Jared Leto.
In a piece about Martin Scorsese’s (lack of) involvement with the film, THR says that Joker has left Leto, who portrayed the Clown Prince of Crime in Suicide Squad, feeling “alienated and upset”. He’s none too happy that WB left him behind after promising his own Joker film. Those plans were in the work before Suicide Squad was met with universal disgust. After that, Warner Bros decided they wanted to completely rework the DCEU, scrapping many future plans and most especially Leto’s take on the character. It seems to be working because DC movies are finally starting to look good for the first time in a long, long time.
Is it fair for Leto to be upset? Sure, I’m not going to tell someone how to feel. He probably is hurt because, despite the lack of quality, he truly did pour himself into the part. He gave it his all. But it just didn’t work. It wasn’t just Mr. Leto who didn’t work in Suicide Squad, almost the entire film was a train wreck. But Leto expected to suit up as Mr. J again and now that’s definitely not happening. So it’ll be a one-and-done for the Oscar winner. Hang up the grill, Jared.
The real question is what happens to the character now. Phoenix is being celebrated for his performance but he has previously stated that the film won’t receive any sequels nor will it fold into upcoming Batman films. That’s a fine choice but you have to wonder how long WB will wait before they ask Matt Reeves to fire up the character again. And when they do, the news is sure to be met with people crying out for Phoenix to return to the role and face off against Robert Pattinson, despite Todd Phillips, Joaquin Phoenix and Reeves saying that isn’t happening. But audiences are going to want more of this performance so you can bet they’ll be demanding it.
In all reality, it’s most likely that both Leto and Phoenix will only play this part once: Leto because WB scratched his plans and Phoenix because he was never looking to join the growing DC cinematic universe. You never know, perhaps Phoenix will apply the make-up and go toe-to-toe against Pattinson’s Batman but I find that very, very unlikely. What’s more likely is that the character will sit on the back burner for a few years before Matt Reeves brings him back to life.