Jared Leto will not reprise his role as Joker in either Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) or The Suicide Squad. Making his debut as the Clown Prince of Crime in 2016’s Suicide Squad, Leto’s portrayal of him proved to be quite divisive. Many took issue with his heavily-tattooed look even before the movie came out, while Leto’s on-set antics were widely publicized.
The criticisms over his Joker weren’t just from audiences though, as even Leto has voiced his problems with how his version of the character has been treated. He was previously angry about how much of his scenes in Suicide Squad were left on the cutting room floor. More recently, reports have surfaced over his displeasure with Warner Bros. and DC favoring Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker movie over a solo outing for himself, which was at one point in the works. Leto reportedly wanted to try and get the movie scrapped entirely. But, the shared universe model always left the door open for him to appear in other projects.
For anyone holding out hope that Leto will soon be back as Joker, that does not appear to be the plan. THR reports that he will not be featured in Birds of Prey next year or part of James Gunn’s Suicide Squad sequel. There is even some belief that his time as Joker is completely over. While that has yet to be confirmed, it looks like fans can go ahead and expect not to see him in Birds of Prey or The Suicide Squad.
While this has been expected, it is good to know that Joker won’t make a surprise appearance in either of these films, barring a last-second change. That said, Joker may still be part of these two films in a different way thanks to Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). The two of them were an item in Suicide Squad, but the trailer for Birds of Prey establishes that Harley has moved on and is no longer involved with Joker. Harley’s freedom from Joker could be a driving factor of her arc throughout both of these films. Meanwhile, Gunn has recently explained why the character isn’t needed in The Suicide Squad.
If Leto isn’t going to be in Birds of Prey or The Suicide Squad though, it is fair to question what future he has with the character. He’s already signed up to play Morbius for Sony and has a solo film on the way next year, so Leto may be ready to move on from Joker. However, it will be fascinating to see whether or not Warner Bros. and DC feel the same way. It is possible that Matt Reeves could want to include Joker in The Batman sequels, in which case they could look to recast the role again. There is plenty of uncertainty surrounding Leto’s future as Joker and the character’s future in DC’s shared universe, but for now we know appearances in Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) and The Suicide Squad are off the table.
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