Previously, we reported how “alienated and upset” Jared Leto was about the Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix which is now in theaters. Since then, it’s come out that Leto’s anger and resentment toward the Elseworlds standalone thriller may run deeper than first thought.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, anonymous sources told them Leto tried to put a stop to the film’s production. He even went as far as taking his frustrations and complaints to the top of Warner Media and made it his mission “to throttle the rival Joker in its cradle.”
THR says their sources know Leto’s behavior and he went to his music manager at the time, Irving Azoff, to get him to reach out to Warner’s parent company – either AT&T or Time Warner – and “kill the [Todd] Phillips film.”
Leto allegedly “complained bitterly to his agents at CAA,” also the agency of Joker’s director and writer Todd Phillips, that he wasn’t told about the project sooner. It’s noted representatives for Leto deny this and Azoff declined to comment.
Joke’s on Him?
Jared Leto’s outrage stems from his short-lived stint as The Joker in Suicide Squad. Though his screen time amounts to a mere 10 minutes, it was supposed to spin him off into a solo movie – in development alongside this year’s blockbuster with Phoenix – and other features.
THR’s sources claim Leto “burned through” several CAA agents to move his spinoff forward. And the actor didn’t think he got treatment that was worthy of an Oscar winner.
Irrespective of burned bridges with his agency, it’s said Leto’s Joker film didn’t happen because Warner was none too happy with his behavior. He sent a live rat, bullets, and a dead pig to castmates on the set of Suicide Squad or in the promotion.
Suicide Squad Footage Cut
When speaking to the media, Leto emphasized how much footage of him was cut despite being billed as a lead. One source, identified as close to the situation, charged Leto with inventing “a place for himself” in a film that wasn’t his:
“In his defense, it was never really his movie, but his attempt to ‘invent’ a place for himself in it backfired.”
As you can guess, this likely means we won’t see Leto back as The Joker anytime soon even though there was hope he’d pop up in both Birds of Prey and The Suicide Squad.
A scene in BOP has Joker throwing Harley Quinn with her stuff out of a house they share and an alleged production document for James Gunn’s soft-reboot sequel had Leto’s name on it.
Another actor, no doubt, replaces Leto in the first instance and the document is either old, held over from earlier on in development, or unsubstantiated.
THR’s story echoes allegations about the Jared Leto our readers are familiar with. Director Gunn doesn’t have much adoration for the rock frontman which is a further indication of his Joker status. He’s called Leto “a d-ck” on Twitter before and implied in the past the star sleeps with underage girls.
Leto did not get his wish but vocalizing his vexation may have hurt Joker to a degree. THR said some at Warner were nervous and greenlit the picture “reluctantly” amidst a small budget because the studio hoped it “would discourage Phillips from making it.”
Regardless, Joker was unaffected in the end financially. A bonafide hit in the face of controversy, the film has grossed over $600 million in only three weeks and looks set to cross $700 million worldwide.
Leto is no longer repped by CAA or Irving Azoff, having jumped to a rival agency, WME. He’s still working with Warner on a few new projects but traded DC for Marvel. His next film is the Sony Spider-Verse installment Morbius.
What do you think of this new revelation? Do you think Leto is justified? Opine below.