Warner Bros. is making a new standalone movie about The Joker, and Jared Leto is reportedly not happy.
The Hollywood Reporter has a new article out this morning indicating that Warner Bros. is actively trying to recruit Leonardo DiCaprio to play The Joker in their upcoming origin story film, which is not connected to the DC Extended Universe. Part of this report is the fact that Jared Leto was upset when he learned of the studio’s plans.
“Insiders say Jared Leto…was caught off-guard by the plans,” the report states. “Leto is said to have made his displeasure with the notion of multiple Jokers known to his CAA agents, and rival agency WME has been using the concern to court him.”
Although he received mixed reviews for his performance, Jared Leto fully intends to stick around as The Joker in upcoming DC Extended Universe films, including Suicide Squad 2 and an untitled film about The Joker and Harley Quinn. So it makes sense that he was surprised to hear that Warner Bros. wanted a different actor to play the character that he worked so hard on, possibly even an actor who might outshine him like Leonardo DiCaprio.
The studio’s plan here is to make a whole series of DC films that are standalone and that do not connect to the DC Extended Universe at all. These movies will have non-traditional takes on the characters, and Warner Bros. reportedly hopes to attract actors who would not normally sign on to take part in a major blockbuster franchise. Although it seems unlikely that they will be able to recruit Leonardo DiCaprio, the fact that he is on their list certainly sends a signal about the kind of movie they want to make.
This will all create a situation in which there are two actors playing The Joker in major films at the same time. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. is aware of the risks of audience confusion.
If the report about Jared Leto is accurate, this would not be the first time he was angry with Warner Bros. Last year, Leto publicly expressed disappointment that the studio had cut out many of his Joker scenes.
“Were there any that didn’t get cut?” Leto asked in an interview with IGN. “I’m asking you, were there any that didn’t get cut? There were so many scenes that got cut from the movie, I couldn’t even start. I think that the Joker…we did a lot of experimentation on the set, we explored a lot. There’s so much that we shot that’s not in the film.”