Suicide Squad Director Says His Heart Breaks For Jared Leto’s Joker

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Even though we’re less than four years removed from the day it hit theaters, the tales of woe behind Suicide Squad‘s turbulent production have already become the stuff of legend. David Ayer initially felt like the ideal fit for the material given his background in gritty crime thrillers, but it soon became obvious that he was essentially trying to make the movie with one hand tied behind his back by the studio.

After only getting six weeks to write the script in an effort to rush the pic into production, the backlash that greeted Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice saw Warner Bros. bankroll extensive reshoots to insist that the filmmaker lighten the tone of his antihero ensemble, which eventually led to two competing cuts of Suicide Squad being put together during post-production, and whichever one fared the best with test audiences would be declared the winner.

That’s definitely no way to make a movie, especially one that cost $175 million to put together, and Ayer has been more than vocal in voicing his opinion that his initial vision for the DCEU flick was heavily compromised. One of the more contentious aspects of Suicide Squad was Jared Leto’s bizarre take on the Joker, who sort of flitted in and out of the story with no real purpose after a huge number of his scenes were left on the cutting room floor.

Ayer has been talking about the Clown Prince of Crime on social media a lot this week, and in another exchange with a fan, he admitted that the majority of Leto’s performance didn’t make it into the theatrical release, or even the extended cut for that matter.

Based on his reported reactions to Todd Phillips’ and Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker, it seems like Leto was also pretty upset about how his time as the character seemed to be quietly abandoned following the disappointing reaction to Suicide Squad. And with the titular team being semi-rebooted by James Gunn and Joker turning into a critical and commercial smash, who knows when we’ll see the iconic villain in the DCEU again.

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