Suicide Squad director David Ayer says his “heart breaks” for Jared Leto’s portrayal of Joker. Leto was a controversial choice even before DC fans were able to see what he and Ayer had collaborated on. Things only seemed to get worse when the look of the villain was revealed, though many waited to pass judgement until the movie hit screens. However, when Suicide Squad did open in theaters, there was hardly any of Leto’s Joker, which became a big point of contention amongst fans since he was used heavily in the marketing material.
Even the most negative DC fans will agree that Jared Leto was never really given a fair shot in Suicide Squad and beyond. When discussing character development on social media with fans, David Ayer addressed one specific point of view about Leto’s take on the Clown Prince of Crime. One fan stated that Leto’s take on Joker was “too creepy for compassion,” before taking on the character’s controversial look. Ayer said, “For sure character creation is a tightrope. I took inspiration from the current DC comics.” He then went on and had this to say.
“I find it incredible it’s still such a topic 5 years later. My heart breaks for Jared – he did magnificent work. Most of it remains unseen.”
Jared Leto was also disappointed in his lack of screen time in 2016’s Suicide Squad. He reportedly told some fans at the time that he was “feeling sort of tricked into being a part of something that had been pitched to him very differently.” Jared Leto also allegedly thought the movie was going to be “more artistic than what it became.” In all, Leto has around 7 minutes in the theatrical cut and then some more in an extended Blu-ray cut.
David Ayer has said that there’s a lot more of Jared Leto’s performance from Suicide Squad in the vault, though it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing it any time soon. For one, Warner Bros. and DC went forward with a brand-new take on the Clown Prince of Crime with Todd Phillips’ Joker. Joaquin Phoenix took on the role this time around and ended up with critical acclaim and an Academy Award for portrayal of the villain.
It seems unlikely that Joaquin Phoenix will return and it seems even more unlikely that he’d show up in a DC project with Batman or other characters. With that being said, Jared Leto is more than likely finished with Joker for now since he really didn’t get the experience he thought he was getting. Additionally, the actor was reportedly not very happy about DC and Warner Bros. moving forward with a new take on the character with another actor. Leto has returned to the world of comic book movies with Marvel’s Morbius, which hits theaters next year. You can check out David Ayer’s Twitter thoughts on Jared Leto’s Joker below.