The previous Joker actor, Jared Leto, reportedly wasn't pleased when he initially discovered that Warner Bros. had plans to replace the Suicide Squad actor with a Joaquin Phoenix-led solo film.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, upon discovering that the studio approved director Todd Phillips' idea for a solo Joker film that wasn't connected to the DC Extended Universe -- and didn't involve Leto playing the role -- Leto felt "alienated and upset by the move."
Leto has yet to officially comment, but back in 2017 the actor did hint at his feelings toward his non-involvement in the character's future. "I’m a little confused too, but yeah, there are a couple of things happening in the DC world... I loved the Joker, he’s a great character, a really fun character to play," he said. "It’s a big universe and when you play the Joker, there’s no ownership there. You have the honor of holding the baton for a little while and then passing it off. But there are other films in development and I’m excited to see what comes from them".
Warner Bros' decision to go in an alternate direction with the character appears to have panned out quite well for the studio, as the Todd Phillips-directed origin film is garnering commercial and critical success across the board.
Directed by Todd Phillips, Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais and Shea Whigham.