It seems that the incredible box office success of Todd Phillips’ Joker has shifted the focus on the iconic comic book character in a different direction, so much so that Jared Leto’s divisive take on the Clown Prince of Crime is already being quietly swept under the rug. It’s been reported recently that the Academy Award-winning actor wasn’t happy that the Joker was being featured in a high-profile movie without his involvement, and now it looks like his heavily-tattooed version of Batman’s arch-nemesis may be abandoned completely.
David Ayer’s Suicide Squad was a project that seemed to be plagued by difficulties from the very beginning, and Leto’s full-blown method insanity resulted in a performance that alienated both fans and his fellow cast members. The actor’s name was conspicuously absent in director James Gunn’s casting announcement for The Suicide Squad, and with Joaquin Phoenix now dominating the headlines as Arthur Fleck, it appears that there’s only enough room for one Joker in town.
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Per a recent report, Leto’s Joker won’t be involved in either The Suicide Squad or Birds of Prey, which sounds like a move on Warner Bros.’ part to distance him from the role, especially when you consider his close connection to Harley Quinn and how heavily featured he was during the marketing campaign for the first Suicide Squad.
Leto most likely won’t be happy about this, but it isn’t as if people are pressuring the studio in the way they harassed Sony in the wake of the recent Spider-Man fiasco with Marvel Studios. The 47 year-old clearly has an affinity for the character and would love to play the Joker again, but the recent creative reshuffle of the DC Extended Universe certainly makes it sound as though there’s no longer a place for him.