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Jared Leto Reportedly Tried To Sabotage Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Movie

This Joker actor may have had a serious case
of jealousy. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jared
Leto, who portrayed the Joker in 2016’s Suicide Squad, reportedly attempted to sabotage director
Todd Phillips’ standalone Joker movie, which stars Joaquin Phoenix in the title role. The outlet cites anonymous sources that claim
Leto was so hurt by and frustrated over the news that Warner Bros. was moving ahead with
another Joker film that wasn’t going to feature him as the infamous DC Comics baddie that
he tried to kill the film before it officially got off the ground. Insiders with information about the situation
and whom THR claims are, quote, “familiar with Leto’s behavior” have indicated that
Leto lodged bitter complaints to his agents at the Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles
the same company that represents Joker director Phillips after learning of the rival project. “I don’t want no beef.” “You don’t want no beef? You don’t want no beef? You don’t want no beef?” Leto is said to have asked his agents at CAA
to stop Joker from getting made, allegedly claiming that the mere existence of the project
was something of a slap in the face. The actor, who won an Academy Award for his
work in Dallas Buyers Club, reportedly argued that, quote, “he wasn’t being treated properly
as an Oscar winner.” Additionally, Leto allegedly asked his music
manager Irving Azoff, an entertainment executive who at the time managed Leto’s band 30 Seconds
to Mars, to contact, quote, “the leader” of Warner Bros.’ parent company. It’s unclear whether Leto requested Azoff
to call Jeff Bewkes at Time Warner or Randall Stephenson at AT&T, as both were head honchos
at the time. Regardless, the alleged reason behind Leto’s
inquiry to Azoff was to, quote, “get Warners to kill the Phillips film.” It’s also been reported that Warner Bros.
executives were “nervous” about Joker, given its dark tone and gritty, more violent approach
to the namesake comic book character’s origin. The studio gave the project the greenlight
nonetheless, but approved a budget of only $55 million a sum that’s small in comparison
to other comic book movies and a budget that some people at Warner Bros. were reportedly
hoping would frustrate Phillips and cause him to abandon the project altogether. Of course, we know that didn’t end up happening. A source of Leto’s has denied that the actor
ever tried to sabotage the Phoenix-Phillips Joker movie, while Azoff, who no longer works
with Leto, declined to provide a comment when THR reached out. Word of Jared Leto reportedly trying to kill
the recently released Joker film comes shortly after The Hollywood Reporter claimed that
the actor was “alienated and upset” upon hearing the news that the project got the greenlight. Leto reportedly also felt that Warner Bros.
had been teasing him with the promise of his own standalone movie, and was hurt that a
different actor received one instead. Now, it seems that the studio may not have
been serious about putting together a solo Joker film starring Leto, as sources close
to the production of Suicide Squad have noted that Warner Bros. “wasn’t thrilled” with Leto’s
behavior prior to and during the shooting of that movie. Leto took an unorthodox approach to getting
into character for Suicide Squad which included sending a live rat to Harley Quinn actress
Margot Robbie, gifting Deadshot actor Will Smith a love letter and a bunch of bullets,
and bringing a dead hog to rehearsal. His terrifying efforts really weren’t worth
it in the end, as Leto’s Joker was little more than a cameo in Suicide Squad. Another source has claimed that Leto tried
to, quote, “‘invent’ a place for himself” in the film, which was “never really his movie,”
and it all backfired. Whatever caused Warner Bros. to back away
from a Leto-led Joker movie and prioritize Phillips’ project instead, we can’t say for
certain, but it seems clear that Leto didn’t like how things played out. Sadly for Leto, sources have indicated to
THR that the actor’s time as the Joker is probably over for good. He isn’t included in Birds of Prey which centers
on Joker’s ex-flame Harley Quinn, played opposite Leto in Suicide Squad by Margot Robbie and
is likely not going to be a part of the upcoming Suicide Squad reboot-slash-sequel directed
by James Gunn. The filmmaker himself recently said that he
doesn’t think it would be strange for Leto’s Joker to not be in the film, quote, “as he
isn’t a part of the Suicide Squad in the comics.” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
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