Jared Leto’s much maligned take on the Joker in Suicide Squad continues to take a severe beating, two years after he played the role in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. This is happening, of course, while Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker (an origin story about how Arthur Fleck became the supervillain) continues to laugh its way to becoming highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time. Leto has remained publicly silent, but that hasn’t stopped claims about him being unsurprisingly unhappy about Phoenix getting a standalone movie. Well, Hollywood Reporter further stirred the pot over the weekend by alleging that Leto attempted to stop Joker from being made at all.
One portion of THR‘s piece is of particular note here because it claims that Warner Bros. didn’t appreciate Leto’s on-set antics, which included sending a rat to Margot Robbie (because she’s Harley Quinn, and he’s so method). The report also claims that Ayer sliced Leto’s screentime because he was displeased with Leto’s portrayal of the Joker:
It turns out that the studio wasn’t thrilled with these efforts, says a source with knowledge of the situation. And it seems the director wasn’t that pleased with the resulting performance: In the final cut of David Ayer’s ensemble antihero movie, Leto’s Joker got only about 10 minutes of screen time. While promoting the project, Leto — who had been billed as a lead character — spoke to media about how much footage of his Joker had been cut.
Ayer didn’t waste time in distancing himself from these claims about the Leto situation. “That is inaccurate information,” he typed. “Not my words or actions.”
That is inaccurate information. Not my words or actions. https://t.co/1jBRB4Sqvp
— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) October 20, 2019
It’s also worth noting that James Gunn, who’s relaunching the gathering of D.C. supervillains in The Suicide Squad, recently tweeted that there’s a perfectly plausible reason why the Joker’s likely not in his movie, for what that’s worth. While it’s true that Leto’s take on the Joker was showy and two-dimensional (not to mention extra disappointing after Leto had recently won an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club), he certainly can’t be enjoying the extra criticism that’s arriving after Phoenix’s superior performance. Still, he will be okay! Letto’s got his seemingly moody performance as Morbius: The Living Vampire coming in July 2020, which makes him part of the Sony Spider-Man franchise now, so maybe he can happily kiss D.C. goodbye after all.