The Hollywood Reporter (THR) tucks away the tidbit in their piece on Martin Scorsese’s involvement with the Clown Prince of Crime’s origin story, citing sources that claim Leto was “alienated and upset by the move.”
Leto hasn’t reprised the role since his bit-part performance in Suicide Squad opposite Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. Robbie is returning to the DC Universe in 2020’s Birds of Prey – with the latest trailer revealing that Harley and her puddin’ called it quits, leaving Leto’s future with the character in limbo. Leto is also not currently part of the named cast for James Gunn’s 2021 Suicide Squad reboot.
The frustration may stem from a 2018 Variety report detailing plans for a Leto-led solo Joker movie, in which he was also attached to producer. That, ultimately, didn’t come to fruition – Forbes confirmed earlier this year that the project supposedly wasn’t going ahead after the Suicide Squad shake-up.
As for more Joker-related background news that never got off the ground: THR states that a “source close to Scorsese” indicated the legendary director of the likes of Goodfellas, Wolf of Wall Street, and upcoming Netflix production The Irishman was also planning to helm Joker. A rep for Scorsese has outright denied it, saying he “had no intention to direct Joker.”
Phoenix’s Joker movie, directed by Todd Phillips, went on to gross over $90 million at the US box office over its opening weekend. No Leto, no Scorsese – but Joker still ended up having the last laugh.
Who is king of the clowns? Find out in our Joker rankings list, from Jared Leto to Joaquin Phoenix.