When Warner Bros. decided to make Joaquin Phoenix's Joker, they already had a Joker on the payroll - Jared Leto, who portrayed the Clown Prince of Crime in the DC movie Suicide Squad.
Warner Bros. declined to comment on the story to THR while a source within Leto's camp denied the accusations.
Leto reportedly complained to his agents, who also represent Phillips, and asked his music manager, Irving Azoff, to call the leader of Warner Bros' parent company to get Warner Bros to kill the hugely popular film.
Apparently, Leto felt betrayed by Warner Bros. after thinking he was in line for his own Joker solo movie. Leto ultimately parted ways with CAA in the summer of 2019, joining WME instead.
The report also suggests that the studio "wasn't thrilled" with his well-publicized efforts to get into character on set to play Joker in Suicide Squad: "the studio wasn't thrilled with these efforts, says a source with knowledge of the situation".
Despite the "method acting" Leto employed to play his cartoonish Joker, his Suicide Squad screen time was cut to just 10 minutes.
What do you think about Jared Leto trying to stop Joker from being made? It's already been rumored that he'd be making an appearance in the upcoming Harley Quinn stand-alone movie Birds of Prey. "While promoting the project, Leto - who had been billed as a lead character - spoke to media about how much footage of his Joker had been cut". However, 'Joker' director Todd Phillips has made it very, very clear that you won't be seeing any of his.
Joaquin Phoenix's Joker, meanwhile, has got a mostly positive critical reception and is heading for a 700 million dollar worldwide gross.