There might be a new Joker in town: Jared Leto is being considered as the latest live-action incarnation of Batman's perennial archenemy in Warner Bros.' 2016 "Suicide Squad" film, according to a Friday evening report by The Wrap.
The industry outlet is clear that this is far from a done deal but suggests there is interest on both sides, stating that the Oscar-winner "is circling a key role in David Ayer's 'Suicide Squad' that could prove to be The Joker." Warner Bros. declined comment on the article, and Leto's representation did not respond before The Wrap's published its report. The Joker was not in writer Justin Marks' original draft of the "Suicide Squad" screenplay, but it's expected that Ayer will rewrite the script.
Additionally, The Wrap reiterates previous reports that Tom Hardy, Will Smith and Margot Robbie are in "various stages of discussion" to star in the film, albeit for what roles is currently unknown. The report also cites that, as previously speculated, Jesse Eisenberg is "expected" to reprise his "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" role of Lex Luthor in "Suicide Squad," but it's not yet confirmed.
Neither The Joker or Lex Luthor are members of the classic version of Suicide Squad, but it appears the film will retain the basic concept laid out by writer John Ostrander in the DC Comics of the 1980s: The government granting supervillains (often including characters such as Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, Captain Boomerang and government supervisor Amanda Waller) the chance for commuted sentences by deploying them on suicide missions. Harley Quinn has been a part of the team in recent comic book incarnations, and is heavily rumored to play a part in the film.
The Joker has a long history in live-action, starting with Cesar Romero in the 1960s "Batman" TV series, to Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger on the big screen. According to The Wrap, Ryan Gosling was pursued for the role, but was unwilling to commit to multiple features.
Recently, Jared Leto was the source of heavy speculation that he may play the title role in Marvel Studios' "Doctor Strange," a role that has been widely reported -- yet not officially confirmed -- to be played by Benedict Cumberbatch.
"Suicide Squad" is expected for release on Aug. 5, 2016.