Suicide Squad Director Denies Reports He Was Unhappy With Jared Leto's Joker Performance

It may be Joaquin Phoenix's take on the iconic Batman villain in the Todd Phillips-directed Joker, but Suicide Squad actor Jared Leto who is getting headlines lately related to his time as the character. A recent piece from The Hollywood Reporter reported that, among other things, Leto tried to get stop Joker from ever happening and that his own time as the character is likely over. However, one of the piece's claims about Suicide Squad director David Ayers being unhappy with Leto's performance may not be accurate. Ayer is himself denying the report.

On Twitter, a fan attempted to "call out" Ayers for supporting James Gunn, but not Leto who has "always praised" him. Ayer responded to the tweet, clarifying in no uncertain terms that The Hollywood Reporter piece is "inaccurate information".

"This is inaccurate information," Ayer wrote. "Not my words or actions."

In the report, it's claimed that not only was Warner Bros. displeased with Leto's antics in preparing to play the Joker, but that Ayers wasn't happy with his ultimate performance, the result being that Ayers cut out most of Leto's role -- he ended up with about 10 minutes of screen time in the final cut -- as a result. While the report indicates that this information comes from " a source with knowledge of the situation", Ayers says it simply isn't true.

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What may be more accurate, though, is that Leto's time as the Joker is up. Even if you take The Hollywood Reporter's piece out of the equation, there doesn't really appear to be much room for Leto's take on the character in new DC Universe films. Phoenix's Joker performance has already reached the same character-defining status that Heath Ledger's turn in 2008's The Dark Knight has, but more than that, films where it might make sense for Leto's take to appear are moving on without him. Leto isn't reprising his role in Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) nor is he appearing in Gunn's upcoming The Suicide Squad relaunch -- and both of those films feature Margo Robbie's Harley Quinn, who was tied to Leto's Joker in Suicide Squad.

Joker is now in theaters. Upcoming DC Movies include Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2020.