SUICIDE SQUAD Star Jared Leto Reportedly Tried To Kill JOKER Before It Happened; His Clown Prince Run Is Over

SUICIDE SQUAD Star Jared Leto Reportedly Tried To Kill JOKER Before It Happened; His Clown Prince Run Is Over

SUICIDE SQUAD Star Jared Leto Reportedly Tried To Kill JOKER Before It Happened; His Clown Prince Run Is Over

A new report has shed some light on the behind-the-scenes drama between Jared Leto and Warner Bros. over Todd Phillips' Joker movie, which the Academy Award-winner reportedly didn't want to happen.

The Hollywood Reporter has shared an informative new expose about Academy Award-winner Jared Leto's feelings toward Todd Phillips' Joker, and it sounds like the Suicide Squad star may have been considerably more displeased with the project than we've been led to believe, as he reportedly made serious efforts to kill the film before it ever went into production. 

In addition, THR's story contains new details about what led to his character being mostly cut from David Ayer's Suicide Squad, the end of his run as the Clown Prince of Crime, and more.  

To discover the revelations from THR's Jared Leto/Joker expose all at once, simply click on the VIEW LIST (ONE PAGE) button below!

Jared Leto Really Hoped To Kill JOKER Before It Went Into Production

After learning that Warner Bros. was moving ahead with Todd Phillips' Joker concept, Leto reportedly did everything he could to ensure it didn't happen.

He complained to his agents at CAA and also asked his music manager, Irving Azoff, to go over the head of the WB execs to the head of the studio's parent company at the time - either Time Warner's Jeff Bewkes or AT&T's Randall Stephenson -  to kill the movie.

Leto's representatives deny this claim and sources say Azoff never made the call, which may have been the tipping off point for Azoff and Leto to ultimately end their relationship. 

Leto Felt WB Led Him On With The Promise Of His Own Solo Feature

Following the surprise box office success of David Ayer's Suicide Squad, Warner Bros. made the odd decision to double down on the Joker/Harley dynamic and ordered scripts for a Joker/Harley Quinn movie in July 2017 as well as a Leto-led Joker movie in June 2018. 

However, while promising Leto his own Joker film, the studio simultaneously greenlit Todd Phillips' Joker origin movie, which led Leto to feel as if he'd been led on by WB and that they never had any intention to move forward with his project.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, both of the aforementioned Leto Joker movies should be considered effectively dead.

Some WB Execs Hoped The Small Budget Would Dissuade Todd Phillips From Making JOKER

While Warner Bros. is undoubtedly happy with the box office success of Joker, there were some at the studio that weren't quite sure whether they should move forward with Todd Phillips' dark and disturbing vision for the character, and questioned its box office potential.

Some execs were even quietly hoping that the relatively small $55 million to $70 million production budget allotted to the film would dissuade Phillips from making it. Of course, that didn't happen, and the rest is cinematic history.  

WB Wasn't A Fan Of Leto's SUICIDE SQUAD Antics...

Academy Award-winner Jared Leto went full method for his role as the Joker in 2016's Suicide Squad and countless stories flooded the internet of the disturbing gifts he sent to his castmates, including a live rat to Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), bullets to Will Smith (Deadshot) and a dead pig to the entire cast during rehearsal, amongst other things. 

While most seemingly disregarded his antics back then, it appears that Warner Bros. really wasn't happy to hear about the questionable gifts, nor were they pleased with his twisted final look, which saw him sport rotten teeth, bloodshot eyes and slicked-back neon green hair.

...Neither Was Director David Ayer

While the studio expressing displeasure is one thing, it sounds like director David Ayer wasn't particularly enthused by his performance either and ultimately made the decision to cut most of his scenes, resulting in the Joker only showing up for around ten minutes throughout the course of the movie.

Leto alluded to cut scenes during the global press tour, and a few of these moments were ultimately restored in the Extended Cut released on home video, but there's still a lot of Joker material that was left on the cutting room floor and is not expected to ever see the light of day.

A source tells THR, “In his defense, it was never really his movie but his attempt to `invent’ a place for himself in it backfired.

The Joker Drama Led To Leto Severing Ties With His Agents

Following the Joker drama and Leto's displeasure with his agents for failing to stop Phillips' film, he decided to leave CAA for WME, but it appears the breakup was fairly mutual in nature as he'd been through four different teams of agents there and his longtime agency wasn't exactly sad to see him go. 


While his character will undoubtedly play a role in Harley Quinn's (Margot Robbie) emancipation story, don't expect to see an on-screen reunion between the Joker and Harley Quinn anytime soon, if ever, as Leto will not reprise his role in Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), nor will he appear in James Gunn's soft reboot/sequel The Suicide Squad.

After Joaquin Phoenix's Performance, Leto's Joker Run Is Over

With Todd Phillips' Joker becoming a runaway box office success and Joaquin Phoenix garnering serious Oscar buzz, it sounds like Leto's run as the Clown Prince of Crime is indeed finally over, which probably shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. 

Speaking with the trade, an anonymous source directly involved in the situation said, "How do you play the Joker you established following [Phoenix]? It kind of ends his Joker run."

On To Morbius

Next up on Leto's docket is Sony's Spider-Man spinoff Morbius, which wrapped filming at the end of June, and is expected to hits theaters on July 31, 2020.

Daniel Espinosa (Life) is directing the Marvel Comics adaptation with a star cast headlined by Leto as the titular vampire and that also features Adria Arjona (Triple Frontier) as Martine Bancroft, Matt Smith (Doctor Who) as Loxias Crown, Jared Harris (Chernobyl) as Morbius' mentor and Tyrese Gibson (Fast & Furious 9) as Simon Stroud.

He's also currently filming Warner Bros.' The Little Things with Denzel Washington and Rami Malek, which suggests his relationship with the studio hasn't been irreparably damaged by this Joker drama.

Keep scrolling to check out some behind-the-scenes photos from JOKER!

Forever alone in a crowd, Arthur Fleck seeks connection. Yet, as he trods the sooted Gotham City streets and rides the graffitied mass transit rails of a hostile town teeming with division and dissatisfaction, Arthur wears two masks. One, he paints on for his day job as a clown. The other he can never remove; it’s the guise he projects in a futile attempt to feel he’s a part of the world around him, and not the misunderstood man whom life is repeatedly beating down. Fatherless, Arthur has a fragile mother, arguably his best friend, who nicknamed him Happy, a moniker that’s fostered in Arthur a smile that hides the heartache beneath. But, when bullied by teens on the streets, taunted by suits on the subway, or simply teased by his fellow clowns at work, this social outlier only becomes even more out of sync with everyone around him.

Joker features:
Director: Todd Phillips
Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck/Joker
Robert De Niro as Murray Franklin
Zazie Beetz as Sophie Dumond
Frances Conroy as Penny Fleck
Brett Cullen as Thomas Wayne
Douglas Hodge as Alfred Pennyworth
Dante Pereira-Olson as Bruce Wayne
Glenn Fleshler as Randall
Bill Camp as Detective Garrity
Shea Whigham as Detective Burke
Marc Maron as Gene Ufland
Leigh Gill as Gary
Josh Pais as Hoyt Vaughn
Brian Tyree Henry as Carl
Bryan Callen as Haha's Stripper
Chris Redd as Comedy Club Emcee
Justin Theroux in a cameo appearance

Joker laughs his way into theaters October 4
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