ByTom Bacon, writer at
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Tom Bacon

Whether you loved or hated Suicide Squad, there's one thing you can't deny: the finished film bore little relation to the trailers. In fact, a lot of scenes from the trailer didn't even make it past the editing room floor, much to the frustration of the cast. To glean an idea of just how much footage was cut, take a look at the video below:

It seems that our new Joker bore the brunt of the cuts. Understandably, then, nobody seems more angry at Warner Bros.'s editing of than Jared Leto.

Last weekend, at Camp Mars, Leto gave full vent about his frustration. We don't have the actual quotes, but one fan on Tumblr summarized them:

"He was very honest about the film this weekend; his disappointment in what he’s learned of the theatrical cut (he’s still not seen the film); feeling sort of tricked into being a part of something that had been pitched to him very differently; thinking it would’ve been more artistic than what it became; feeling overwhelmed by the hate regarding the look and choices."

What's more, he also disclosed another thing that's frustrating him about his work with Warner Bros. He's a keen rock-climber, but - as part of his contract - he's forbidden to take part in dangerous activities like rock-climbing. Leto's response was startling:

“F*ck ’em!”

Although that specific quote seems to have been meant to be humorous, the fact remains that the actor seems openly furious with the studio. What's going on..?

What Happened?

The clown prince of crime! Image: Warner Bros.
The clown prince of crime! Image: Warner Bros.

Jared Leto's Joker was a major part of the marketing campaign for Suicide Squad, and everyone was expecting him to play a major role in the film. Leto himself went to incredible lengths to get in-character; a believer in method acting, he delved deep into the character, and ensured that the film was always in the headlines! It's pretty clear that Leto was having a blast playing the part of the clown prince of crime, and was excited to see where the Joker's story went next.

Then things went badly wrong.

The critical backlash against Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice took Warner Bros. by surprise, and - with Suicide Squad almost completed - the studio panicked. If behind-the-scenes accounts are accurate, two versions of the film were shown to viewers in Northern California, and the final product was a mash-up of these.

Yes, Harley, you should be worried. Image: Mehdic
Yes, Harley, you should be worried. Image: Mehdic

Jared Leto's Joker was in the firing line, and his scenes were cut mercilessly. Defending the studio, co-star Margot Robbie - who plays Harley Quinn - explained:

“They probably realised that the emotional through-line of the story had to be the mission that we were on, and explaining the Enchantress’ position and all that kind of stuff. And the [Harley and Joker] backstory stuff, though it’s magic and some of the stuff we shot was insane, they are there’s a lot, but it just didn’t make sense to confuse the present story line to incorporate all that."

A lot of fans suspect there's another reason, though. The relationship between Harley Quinn and the Joker is a dark and disturbing one, and putting this relationship at center-stage would have left the film open to cries of misogyny. Again, this fan-theory runs, the studio panicked.

Whatever the truth, the reality is that Jared Leto's scenes were reduced dramatically. In an interview with BBC1, Leto declared that "there's probably enough footage" to make a Joker movie.

What Are the Consequences?

So far, discussion about Suicide Squad has focused on the fact that critics were disappointed by the finished product, singling out the poor editing as a major problem for the film. Jared Leto's increasingly vocal fury is raising another problem; the more Warner Bros. meddles with the films, the more the studio risks losing the actors' goodwill.

Jared Leto is playing a major role in the ; there's a sense in which Suicide Squad was just a teaser, an introduction to a character who's surely destined to go head-to-head with Batman. The end of the film set up both the Suicide Squad sequel, and Margot Robbie's Harley-Quinn-focused movie; both are very likely to have a strong Joker presence in them. At this stage, though, one of the key actors for the future of the DCEU is clearly deeply unhappy.

You don't want this guy unhappy. Image: Warner Bros.
You don't want this guy unhappy. Image: Warner Bros.

It's safe to assume that Jared Leto is on a multi-picture deal, as Ryan Gosling passed on the role because he didn't want to commit to multiple films. Thus, Leto's likely to stick around for a while yet - he probably doesn't have much choice in the matter. That said, though, DC Film isn't planning so far ahead as Marvel Studios, largely because DC Film is still feeling its way. I doubt anybody's on the seven-or-nine-picture-deals you can find for major Marvel Studios actors; in the long run, Warner Bros. will be dependent on actors' goodwill in order to renegotiate. Jared Leto sounds as though he doesn't have much goodwill left for Warner Bros.

The comment about stipulations on 'dangerous activities' was most remarkable. Leto clearly accepted such stipulations, believing he'd be taking on a larger and more artistic role. Now, he feels as though he's been shafted, and the stipulations simply aren't worth it. Given what we've learned about Suicide Squad over the past couple of weeks, it's easy to see why Leto would feel this way. What's more, such open statements of contempt may incline DC Film toward recasting, which would certainly stir the pot!

See also:

It's clear that DC Film has some real problems. While the studio struggles to reorient itself after the critical response to both Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad, it risks alienating the actors on whom it will depend. I don't know what the next film featuring Jared Leto's Joker will be, but for the sake of the DCEU, it had better not be edited quite so mercilessly!

Do you sympathize with Jared Leto's frustrations? Let me know in the comments!

This Joker has already cost Batman dearly. Image: Warner Bros.
This Joker has already cost Batman dearly. Image: Warner Bros.

Source: Batman News


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