You probably are aware of the reception that Suicide Squad has gained by now. After a strong opening weekend, the film managed to suffer a 67% drop at the box office during its second weekend, almost losing to the animated comedy Sausage Party. It's not quite as bad as the 69% drop that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice suffered, but it's still a big decrease for just one week.
With that said, another consistent area of concern has been surrounding the matter of the Joker. I think we got maybe eight minutes of total screen time despite the rather extensive marketing campaign advertising him as a major selling point. In addition to the fan response (and disappointment) to the lack of the Joker, Jared Leto himself has expressed a lot of disappointment regarding his lack of involvement and he's not necessarily being quiet about it. This is starting to get pretty ugly.
What Has Jared Leto Said About Suicide Squad?
From the beginning, Jared Leto seemed to be nothing but excited and proud of his portrayal of the iconic Batman villain. However, things quickly changed as soon as the film premiered as critics not only slammed the film as a whole, but they criticized what we managed to see of his character. Whether it was the appearance or just overall lack of screen time, people weren't too happy with the Joker.
When confronted with questions during the Suicide Squad press tour about the lack of screen time the Joker received, Leto had this to say to IGN:
"Were there any that didn't get cut from the movie? I'm asking you. Were there any that didn't get cut from the movie? There were so many scenes that got cut from the movie, I couldn't even start."
He also went far enough to suggest that his scenes probably won't see the light of day unless he dies anytime soon, but we certainly hope not. However, everything that Warner Bros. did with Leto and his character has certainly left his future in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) a giant question mark.
This past weekend, Leto put on the Camp Mars event with his band, Thirty Seconds to Mars, and was confronted with questions from fans regarding what ultimately happened with Suicide Squad. He has continued to be fairly outspoken regarding the situation and according to several Camp Mars attendees, he's still not happy about the way things went down. Leto elaborated on certain aspects such as claiming to have felt tricked by the studio and basically having the rug swept out right from under him with no warning.
Should Jared Leto Simply Just Walk Away From The DCEU?
From what it would seem so far, it is very likely that it might just happen. In addition to having his scenes drastically cut, his existing contract with Warner Bros. extends rather far into his personal life and activities, such as rock climbing. If you follow Leto on any social media platform, you're well aware of how much the guy loves rock climbing and being outdoors. For an actor that doesn't have an extensive filmography to begin with, will the lackluster trade off and lack of respect from the studio be enough to make him walk? During Camp Mars, Leto had this to say regarding the situation:
"My answer is: Fuck 'em."
We have no idea what is next for the Joker and your guess is as good as ours. Jared Leto wasn't necessarily a massive hit with critics regarding his version of the Joker, but a lot of fans really liked his performance. For me, I liked what we managed to see from him in Suicide Squad, but we just haven't seen enough of the character to know for sure.
Personally, I feel really bad for Jared Leto. Seeing the stories from Camp Mars is a rough thing to see in the midst of the existing Suicide Squad nightmare. Imagine realizing all of that and then having to go on the press tour only to be confronted with people saying you're hardly in the movie at all. He was also consistently separated from the rest of the cast and being asked questions that had nothing to do with the movie by prying interviewers. Not only that, but I can't imagine putting that much work into something for over six months and undergoing such a physical transformation to ultimately become a glorified extra.
If he didn't sign a multi-film deal, he has every right to walk away and I'm thinking that maybe he should. The bottom line here is he got screwed. Whether it really was the test screening reception or a group of executives at Warner Bros. panicked at the last minute, we didn't get the Joker that was teased, and Leto's hard work was essentially flushed down the toilet. If Leto does not choose to reprise his role as the Joker, it will be because of the missteps that Warner Bros. made with his character and I don't think anyone would really blame him for leaving. It will likely force Warner Bros. to either ignore the events in Suicide Squad altogether or scramble to re-cast the Joker. To those possibilities, all I have to say is, good luck with that one.
Do you want to see more of Jared Leto as the Joker?
Take a look at some of the Joker's cut scenes in the Movie Pilot original video below:
Have more to say about Suicide Squad or Jared Leto's version of the Joker? Leave a comment!