The initial reports regarding the upcoming Joker origin movie from writer / director Todd Phillips noted that the project was loosely inspired by the Martin Scorsese classic King of Comedy — so it makes sense that Scorsese himself was persuaded to executive produce Joker. According to a new report, that King of Comedy connection is getting a little more obvious, as Robert De Niro is officially in talks to join Joaquin Phoenix in the DC standalone film.
By all accounts, a lot of stuff got cut out of Suicide Squad. If you believe the recent press reports, there were two totally different versions of the film competing for release: A darker take from director David Ayer, and a jokier movie edited in consultation with the company that made the film’s popular, upbeat trailers.
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.