The actor reportedly tried to shut down the new movie.
We already knew Jared Leto was reportedly not thrilled with DC’s decision to make the new Joker movie with Joaquin Phoenix, and now a new report alleges that Leto tried to stop the movie. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Leto was so frustrated with Warner Bros. making the new movie with Phoenix and director Todd Phillips that he complained to his then agents at CAA and also asked another one of his manager’s to try to reach out to reach out to top management at Warner Bros. to try to kill the new Joker movie.
A source from Leto’s team, however, told THR that Leto never did this. Leto and this agent, Irving Azoff–who represents Leto in his music endeavors–have since split up. Another thing to know as well is that CAA is the same talent management company that represents Phillips. Leto has since signed with CAA rival company WME.
Reports have suggested that Leto felt he was promised his own standalone Joker movie, and he was upset when Warner Bros. decided to make the new movie with Phoenix. Sources said Leto believed his agents at CAA should have fought harder for his take on Joker and should have informed him earlier about the Joker movie with Phoenix and Phillips. He reportedly wanted more respect as a Oscar winner (he won for Dallas Buyers Club).
According to the site’s sources, Warner Bros. did not think Joker would be a big hit, given its tone and R-rating, and only greenlit the project on a small budget (~$55 million) to try to push Phillips off the idea of making the movie in the first place. That is not how it all worked out, however, as the low-budget movie went on to become a massive success; it has earned critical acclaim and more than $730 million at the box office.
The THR report goes on to say that WB management “wasn’t thrilled” with how Leto handled himself in the process of making Suicide Squad, his first appearance as Joker. According to the report, he gave “gifts” to castmates like a live rat to Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn) and a dead pig for every actor during rehearsals. Leto only ended up with about 10 minutes of screen time in Suicide Squad.
“In his defense, it was never really his movie, but his attempt to ‘invent’ a place for himself in it backfired,” a source told THR.
According to Leto, the number of Joker scenes cut from Suicide Squad’s theatrical version amounted to enough to fill an entire Joker movie.
“I think that I brought so much to the table in every scene, it was probably more about filtering all of the insanity,” Leto said in an earlier interview. “Because I wanted to give a lot of options, and I think there’s probably enough footage in this film for a Joker movie.
Leto is still employed by Warner Bros., as he is filming The Little Things with Rami Malek and Denzel Washington at the studio currently. However, Leto is reportedly finished playing Joker, as he won’t appear as the character in the Harley Quinn spinoff Birds of Prey or The Suicide Squad.