Prior to Joaquin Phoenix‘s take on the iconic clown villain, Jared Leto was the last major rendition on the Joker on film in Suicide Squad. Leto’s take on the character was met with negative press with many criticizing the performance for being ridiculously over the top, even compared to past renditions of the character. Since the announcement of Todd Philips‘ origin story film around the character, many were reassured that they would see a better portrayal of Batman’s most iconic adversary. Many were pleased with Phoenix’s casting as the character except for one person in particular.
While no comment has been made from the actor recently, Leto expressed that he was “alienated and upset” back when it was announced that Warner Bros was reportedly going through with this solo film without him. Fortunately though, Leto does understand the appeal of other actors being cast as the iconic villain. Despite the confusion of their decision to create the solo film, Leto said, “When you play the Joker, there’s no ownership there. You have the honor of holding the baton for a little while and then passing it off.”
Where Leto might felt betrayed however is the fact he has only played as the Joker in Suicide Squad and despite the Joaquin Phoenix film being said to not tie into the DC Cinematic Universe, Leto has not been asked to sign onto future films. As of this moment, he is not listed in the cast for both the upcoming Birds of Prey and James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, despite many of his costars returning. It also does not help that most of Leto’s scenes in Suicide Squad were cut at the last minute, making this seem at the more frustrating to the Oscar winning actor. At the moment, it seems unlikely that Leto will get another chance to play the Joker, especially with Phoenix’s performance being so well received.