The role is not being recast entirely, however, as Leto is expected to return for Suicide Squad 2 and Gotham City Sirens.
The new movie is set to be directed by Todd Phillips of The Hangover as part of Warner Bros. new banner set to expand the DC Universe and explore the canon. The banner has yet to be named, but given Warner Bros. approach to the subject matter it could allow different actors to play the same role without a film being considered as part of the "DC Cinematic Universe."
Numerous actors have already played the Clown Prince of Crime including Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, and Heath Ledger. Star Wars actor Mark Hamill earned a lot of acclaim as a voice actor for his Joker portrayal on Batman: The Animated Series.
Phillips will co-write the script with Scott Silver, who wrote the upcoming Jake Gyllenhaal-starring movie about a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing, Stronger. Perhaps most surprising in this news is the announcement of Phillips' co-producer Martin Scorsese.
No word on any production details or possible release date as of yet.
The Joker will appear next in Suicide Squad 2.
It feels good to be bad… Assemble a team of the world's most dangerous, incarcerated Super Villains, provide them with the most powerful arsenal at the government's disposal, and send them off on a mission to defeat an enigmatic, insuperable entity. U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller has determined only a secretly convened group of disparate, despicable individuals with next to nothing to lose will do. However, once they realize they weren't picked to succeed but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail, will the Suicide Squad resolve to die trying, or decide it's every man for himself?