by Justin Cook
Dallas Buyers Club and Requiem for a Dream actor Jared Leto is being eyed to play the iconic Batman villain The Joker in Warner Brothers’ upcoming film Suicide Squad.
It’s no secret that the Oscar winner had been pursuing the lead role in Marvel’s Doctor Strange. However, after Benedict Cumberbatch entered talks to star in the film instead, it seems that Leto began to look in other places for an important comic book movie role.
Suicide Squad, which is directed by Fury and End of Watch director David Ayer, is also going after Will Smith, Tom Hardy and Margot Robbie for lead roles in the film. Also Jesse Eisenberg is expected to have a role in the movie as Lex Luthor, who we will be introduced to in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
For those unfamiliar, Suicide Squad is based on a popular DC comic in which the government recruits and offers redemption to some of the world’s most evil criminals. The catch is that they must embark on missions where the chance of survival is extremely low.
Leto is a very strong and experienced actor, winning an Oscar just last year for his performance as a transgender named Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club, but he certainly has huge shoes to fill in playing the role of The Joker.
Heath Ledger, the last actor to play The Joker onscreen, gave what is considered to be one of the strongest performances ever given by an actor in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Ledger died before the film’s release, but became known for his chilling portrayal of Batman’s conniving enemy. The actor even won an Oscar posthumously for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture. It would be quite a challenge for Leto to follow Ledger’s legendary performance, but interesting nonetheless to see how he will tackle playing The Joker.
Justin Marks, who wrote the first draft of the Suicide Squad script, did not include The Joker in his version. However, Ayer himself will most likely put The Joker into the film through script rewrites.
Suicide Squad will hit theaters on August 5, 2016.
Source: The Wrap