Jared Leto’s Joker didn’t get as much screen time in 2016’s Suicide Squad as some fans may have wanted, but Warner Bros. and DC are looking to rectify that mistake.
Variety reports that Jared Leto “is set to star and exec produce an untitled standalone film, paving the way for future movies branching from Suicide Squad.” This is different from Margo Robbie’s disturbing Harley Quinn romcom movie, which Leto is rumored to be involved with, and The Batman, currently in development.
Leto wasn’t quiet about his disappointment over Warner Bros. and director David Ayer’s treatment of Joker in Suicide Squad. Leto told IGN in 2016 that he was upset over how his character was handled, airing his frustrations with the entire process.
“Were there any that didn’t get cut,” Leto asked. “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.”
The Joker’s presence in Suicide Squad was extremely limited, but that wasn’t always the intention. David Ayer tweeted earlier this year about the Joker’s original role in the movie, pointing out that it was much more complex than the version fans saw.
“After Joker dropped HQ from the help and crashed, Enchantress made a deal with him,” Ayer said. “He was going to take Harley home and be “King of Gotham” Harley stood up to him and refused to betray her new friends. The Squad turned on him and he escaped.”
Not only is this Leto’s chance to redeem himself, and his Clown Prince, but it marks the second Joker movie Warner Bros. is reportedly interested in developing. Deadline reported in 2017 that Warner Bros. was developing a stand-alone Joker story that would explore the villain’s origin story. Martin Scorsese was in talks to produce the movie, with Todd Phillips (The Hangover) set to direct.
Leto won’t star in that movie — a decision that allegedly pissed off the 30 Seconds to Mars frontman — but that’s okay because now he has his own Joker movie. To summarize: Jared Leto won’t appear in the Joker origin story, but he is set to star in his own Joker spinoff and is reportedly in talks to join Margot Robbie in Harley Quinn’s romcom stand-alone film.
The DC Cinematic Universe gets complicated. Leto’s Joker movie will most likely sit with Warner Bros.’ Harley Quinn spinoff, The Batman and Birds of Prey movie as an extended part of the DC Cinematic Universe that isn’t related to the main Justice League franchise.
Polygon has reached out to Warner Bros. for comment.