Suicide Squad director reveals new image of Jared Leto's Joker and criticises his own film

best joker
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Jared Leto's cinematic version of Joker divided the fandom. Many were unimpressed by Leto's turn as the Clown Prince of Crime, while some wanted more of Batman's arch-nemesis in Suicide Squad. However you feel about the character, there's no denying that spending more time with the character in the movie would have probably helped.

as has widely been publicised, there were originally more scenes featuring Joker in Suicide Squad. After a lengthy editing process, though, they were cut from the final version which debuted in cinemas – something director David Ayer has been critical of before. 

Now, with rumours swelling that Leto's Joker has been canned in response to Joaquin Phoenix's version gathering Oscar-buzz, Ayer has shared a new photo from the set of Suicide Squad. 

Alongside the image, posted to Instagram, Ayer also made a thinly veiled dig at his own film. "Movies are fragile," he writes.  "If you change the destination after the trip is complete is it still the same journey? The spine of Suicide Squad was Harley’s journey. In many ways it was her movie, her escaping her relationship with Joker was the major emotional through line.

"A director holds an invisible compass in their hands. It guides every shot, every performance. That compass points to the destination. If the destination changes did the journey even happen?"

Ayer's seemingly saying the movie's direction was taken out of his own hands. By who remains a mystery. All we know for sure is that we certainly didn't see all the Joker we were meant to see.

According to recent reports, Leto was "upset" by the decision to make a solo Joker movie about someone else's incarnation of the character. A separate report also indicated the actor's tenure as Joker has come to an end following the success of Joaquin Phoenix's version. Sources claimed Leto tried to sway opinion on the Phillips' directed movie by “bitterly complaining” to his agents. The Oscar-winning allegedly asked his manager to go to Warner Bros.’ parent company to nix the Joker movie.

Jared Leto or Phoenix? Find out who came out on top in our ranking of the best Joker actors. Plus, for more clowning around, be sure to check out the big questions we had after the Joker ending.

Jack Shepherd
Freelance Journalist

Jack Shepherd is the former Senior Entertainment Editor of GamesRadar. Jack used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film for the likes of GR+, Total Film, SFX, and others. You can now find Jack working as a freelance journalist and editor.