A lot of fans had already moved on from Jared Leto’s Joker and embraced Joaquin Phoenix as their new Clown Prince of Crime after Todd Phillips’ R-rated origin story scored better reviews, landed bigger box office business and generally had people leaving the theater a lot more satisfied than they’d been at the conclusion of David Ayer’s Suicide Squad.
Of course, not all of the blame can be laid at either Leto or the filmmaker’s door, with the tales of studio interference soon ascending to legendary status, as the majority of the Joker’s footage ended up being left on the cutting room floor. The Academy Award winning actor may have gone full Method to prepare for the role, but you couldn’t tell, as his performance was reduced to a series of brief and virtually unrelated scenes presented largely without context.
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Leto will be slapping on the face paint once again for Zack Snyder’s Justice League in a turn of events that caught a lot of people by surprise, and in a recent interview, the director revealed how he convinced the 30 Seconds to Mars frontman to return to the fold. Although, Snyder remained frustratingly vague when it came to specifics.
“It was a cool conversation because when I pitched the idea, I feel like he hooked onto the ‘why’ of it because there’s a big why, and was like ‘okay.’ And literally, he said to me ‘We’ll talk more.’ And then I kept calling him and we talked for a while and he agreed to do it.”
There were reports making the rounds that Leto was furious at being sidelined in favor of Phillips and Phoenix’s movie, and he even went directly to Warner Bros. in an effort to try and halt the standalone spinoff. You can understand the reasons why, too, after Suicide Squad butchered his performance and then shoved him out of the DCEU. But a much warmer reception in Justice League could open the door to further appearances down the line from the most divisive big screen Joker yet.