Love him or hate him, Jared Leto’s Joker was certainly a very…noticeable…part of Suicide Squad. And now Gotham City’s very own juggalo clown prince of crime is getting his very own spinoff because clearly Warner Bros. has remembered just who the hell Jared Leto is and recognized that he will not tolerate being left out of that other Joker movie that may or may not actually happen. How dare they.
Warner Bros. and DC are making a lot of choices lately, and one of those choices is having multiple movies featuring the Joker, but not all featuring the actor who first played the character canonically in their universe. Jared Leto is not being courted for the Martin Scorsese-produced Joker origin movie, a move that makes sense considering they’re probably going for someone younger (but which does not make sense considering… who in the world was asking for a Joker origin movie??). Leto is, understandably, “a little confused” about the whole thing, but he also gets it. Kinda.
Jared Leto is the second name on the poster for Suicide Squad. The only actor to get billed above him is Will Smith. Leto is listed ahead of actors like Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, and Viola Davis, who, unlike the Joker, are all actual members of the Suicide Squad. Despite Leto’s billing, though, and despite the large amount of publicity surrounding his unusual version of the character (not to mention his unusual preparations to play the role, which included sending disgusting “gifts” to his colleagues), Leto has very little screentime in the final film. He’s featured mostly in flashbacks about Robbie’s Harley Quinn and her time before she was captured by Batman. When he finally appears in the contemporary story, he shows up to “rescue” Harley, fails, and crashes in a helicopter. Then he doesn’t show up again until the very last scenes of the movie, when he tries to break her out of prison.