As THR (The Hollywood Report) stated recently, The Suicide Squad’s The Joker actor Jared Leto attempted to cease the production of the new Todd Phillips’ Joker spinoff, after finding out the main role would be portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix.
Leto was under the belief that after the 2016 release of Suicide Squad he would be starring a standalone Joker film, strung along with promises from Warner Bros., but the studio went with Phillips’ new take on the Batman villain instead. They accepted the movie hesitantly because of its dark tone, and gave it a small budget, expecting Phillips to give up filming it.
According to sources familiar with Leto’s behavior, when the Oscar-winning actor found about the Phillips project, he not only opposed 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). Azoff and Leto have since parted ways, and Leto left the CAA for the rival WME, denying the competing Joker movies factored into his decision. Read the full story here.