Never mind comic books, the Joker is one of the most iconic characters in the history of cinema and the entirety of pop culture as well. You’d have to travel pretty far to find someone who wouldn’t instantly recognize the Clown Prince of Crime in any of his various forms, while you’d arguably have to go even further to find someone who would name Jared Leto as their favorite version.
History has shown that you need to be a very talented actor to play Batman’s archenemy, with Leto and Jack Nicholson already having Academy Award wins under their belts before they were cast, while Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix both won Oscars for their performances, and all four names to have played the Jester of Genocide in live-action blockbusters did uniquely different work.
Of course, Leto’s Joker may have been much better received if David Ayer didn’t end up having his hands tied behind his back by Warner Bros. on Suicide Squad, with both the actor and filmmaker voicing their disappointment on several occasions that most of the 49 year-old’s scenes wound up on the cutting room floor once the studio got involved in post-production.
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The 30 Seconds to Mars frontman might be returning for a couple of minutes in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, but in a recent interview, he revealed that he’s looking forward to what the next generation of actors to play the role can bring to the character.
“I think in the next 10 or 20 years we’re gonna keep seeing these amazing interpretations and so many different people get to steep in those shows. These Marvel, DC, yeah, they’re popcorn movies but sometimes they’re a little bit more. Sometimes they start to reflect who and what we’re all about in our times. Sometimes they’re Shakespearean. It’s quite amazing that these characters were written 50, 60, 7o years ago and we’re still obsessed with them.”
This is a far cry from the reports that Leto was furious with the idea of Todd Phillips making Joker without his involvement, but if you’ve been paying attention to the rumor mill, then there’s every chance the Fight Club star will be back at least once more in the future to hopefully put things right.