Despite not having a lot of screen time, Jared Leto gave a memorable performance as The Joker in Suicide Squad. But did you know that he almost starred in a Marvel movie instead?
In the new issue of Empire, Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson said that star Benedict Cumberbatch was always the only actor he seriously considered for the role, but when Cumberbatch said he couldn’t do it due to scheduling conflicts, Derrickson was forced to meet with other actors.
According to Empire, Derrickson met with a lot of good actors including Jared Leto, Joaquin Phoenix, and Ryan Gosling. He didn’t like anyone as much as Cumberbatch though, and they ended up pushing back the release of Doctor Strange so that Cumberbatch could take the job.
A few months after the Doctor Strange talks, Jared Leto signed on to play The Joker in Suicide Squad, a role that he definitely wouldn’t have been able to take if those Marvel meetings went better.
Looking back, I’m not sure Leto minds missing out on starring in his own Marvel movie. The actor has repeatedly said that playing The Joker was the most fun he’s ever had, and that some of his best work lies in the deleted Suicide Squad scenes. Hopefully that work will surface on the Blu-ray, which should be out in a couple of months.