Clay Enos/Nikos Tavernise – Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (LOS ANGELES) — While fans were rightly confused last year when Warner Bros. announced plans to make a standalone Joker film starring Joaquin Phoenix AND a second Suicide Squad movie, apparently Suicide Squad star Jared Leto was livid.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Leto was “alienated and upset” that Todd Phillips’ darker take on the comic villain was given the go-ahead with another actor.  And although Leto’s former rep denied it, the Oscar- winning actor and 30 Seconds To Mars frontman reportedly lobbied both his acting agency and his music manager to pressure Warner Bros. to pull the plug on the Joker movie.

Fast forward to the present: Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix has become a smash, and Leto isn’t involved in the Suicide Squad sequel.

Not helping his case, arguably, was fan reaction to Leto’s, um, “interesting” take on the character, as well as long-simmering bad blood between Leto and the sequel’s writer-director James Gunn.

There was also the matter of the used condoms and live rats Leto sent to his Suicide Squad co-stars — as part of getting into “character” — for the role. 

Leto also isn’t involved in 2020’s Birds Of Prey, the stand-alone adventure starring his Suicide Squad co-star Margot Robbie as Joker’s ex-girlfriend, Harley Quinn.

Attempting to explain Leto’s reaction, The Hollywood Reporter quotes an insider as saying, “How do you play the Joker you established following [Phoenix]? It kind of ends [Leto’s] Joker run.”

The second Suicide Squad film, titled The Suicide Squad, comes out August 6, 2021.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.