The "Suicide Squad" star was purportedly upset because he felt he had been strung along with promises of his own standalone film for the Batman villain.
As reports have begun to swirl that Jared Leto's time as the Joker is done following the blockbuster success of Joaquin Phoenix's dark turn in the iconic role, a new story emerged over the weekend that the "Suicide Squad" star tried to get Todd Phillips' movie shut down.
While The Hollywood Reporter notes that a source in Leto's camp has denied the veracity of the story, the outlet nevertheless reports that their sources say Leto was so upset at a solo "Joker" film not starring him that he tried to have his then-music manager, Irving Azoff, call top brass at Warner Bros to kill the film.
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Azoff reportedly did not follow through on this request.
The Oscar-winning actor was purportedly upset because he felt he had been strung along with promises of his own standalone film for the Batman villain following his turn as the Joker in the 2016 "Suicide Squad" film.
If that were true, it's possible the studio soured on the idea after the film was poorly received by fans, with Leto's unexpected tattooed take on the Joker being one of the primary sticking points.
THR further notes the irony of the fact that Warner Bros. didn't seem to have a lot of confidence in "Joker," either, as they reportedly gave Philips a tiny budget expecting that his movie would be but a blip at the box office or that he even might just walk away from the project altogether.
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Instead, "Joker" has become an absolute juggernaut, coming in at number one its first two weeks and catapulting past $600 million at the domestic box office in just over two weeks.
Leto's frustrations reportedly began over the summer when his agents at CAA, who also represent Phillips, failed to tell him about the "Joker" moving in development. Leto subsequently left CAA for WME, though he has denied it had anything to do with any Joker-related projects.
According to THR's reporting, Leto's performance and on-set antics may have hurt his chances at that solo film. "Suicide Squad" director David Ayer was reportedly not happy with the final results, which is why so much of Leto's joker wound up on the cutting room floor, while his in-character behavior on-set proved off-putting ... apparently things like sending a live rat to Harley Quinn actress Margot Robbie and a dead pig to the whole cast did not go over well.
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And while it seems unlikely that Phoenix will return with another take on his Joker, it also looks like Leto is done with his version as well. He does not appear alongside Robbie in the upcoming "Birds of Prey" film and James Gunn's take on "The Suicide Squad" does not plan to feature him as well.
On top of that, DC appears to have backed away from the Marvel Cinematic Universe formula, effectively shutting down the DC Extended Universe for independent projects that may or may not connect with anything else they're doing ... like Todd Phillips' "Joker."
In other words, while it's certainly a little premature, fanboys and -girls are free to start speculating on who the next actor to take on the green-haired maniac might be.
As for Leto, he is still comfortably working with Warner Bros, currently filming John Lee Hancock's "Little Things," and he's already landed his next superhero gig, having signed on to play Morbius, the Living Vampire in Sony's expanding "Venom" universe -- which may or may not include Spider-Man someday.
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