THR is reporting that Jared Leto was not happy with the new ‘Joker’ movie and tried to nip in the bud even before it bloomed into a successful thing.
Per the outlet:
“..sources familiar with Leto’s behavior, when the Oscar-winning actor learned of the Phillips project, [said] he not only complained bitterly to his agents at CAA, who also represent Phillips, but asked his music manager, Irving Azoff, to call the leader of Warners parent company (it’s unclear whether it was Time Warner’s Jeff Bewkes or AT&T’s Randall Stephenson, depending on the timing). The idea was to get Warners to kill the Phillips film.”
But Leto’s camp has denied this and his manager has refused to comment.
THR also previously reported that:
“…the 47-year-old star, who played the grinning crime lord in 2016’s Suicide Squad, thought Warners had strung him along with promises of his own Joker stand-alone film, only to greenlight the Phillips’ version with Joaquin Phoenix instead. Ironically, Warners thought the Phillips project would be a small movie and, nervous about its dark tone, greenlit the pic reluctantly with a small budget that some at the studio were hoping would discourage Phillips from making it.
“..Leto’s unhappiness over the Phillips project seems to have helped end an already strained relationship between Leto and CAA. Sources say the actor felt his agents should have told him about the Phillips project earlier and fought harder for his version of Joker. Sources say Leto told his agents that they should stop the rival project, arguing that he wasn’t being treated properly as an Oscar winner (for Dallas Buyers Club). But a person with first-hand knowledge of the situation contends that by then, Leto had burned through four different teams of agents at CAA and there was little love for the actor there.
Leto left CAA for rival WME over the summer. A source in Leto’s camp says the rocker-actor had been looking to make a switch and denies that the competing Joker movies factored into his decision.
At this point, sources say Leto’s days as the Joker likely are over. He will not reprise the role for Warners’ upcoming DC movies Birds of Prey (a spinoff centered on Robbie’s Harley Quinn) or in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, due out in 2021. Says one person involved in the situation: “How do you play the Joker you established following [Phoenix]? It kind of ends his Joker run.”
Meanwhile, Leto’s representative says the actor is still working with Warner Bros. and notes that he’s currently shooting John Lee Hancock’s Little Things, starring alongside Rami Malek and Denzel Washington, there.