When it was announced that Warner Bros. was courting Jared Leto (Oscar winner, 30 Seconds To Mars frontman, mid-90s teen heartthrob) to star as The Joker in David Ayer's forthcoming Suicide Squad adaptation, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. On one side of the aisle, you had film geeks, comic nerds and generally rational people suggesting that Leto was completely wrong for the role. On the other side, you had a number of vaguely smug contrarians pointing out that, hey, buddy - that's what everyone thought when Chris Nolan cast Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight, and look how that turned out.
Fair enough, contrarians. Perhaps we'll all be proven wrong. Perhaps Jared Leto really is the guy to bring The Joker back to the big screen*. Perhaps he's not the blowhard douche that all the haters seem to think he is. Perhaps someone at MTV News oughtta ask Jared Leto about these casting rumors, and see if he can shed a little light on things:
“You know there's a film called Fight Club, my friends, and you know what the first rule is, don't you? Nuff said,” Leto added, staring directly into the camera.
Ha! Ha! Sweet callback, Jared Leto. Kind of corny, I suppose, but at least that response wasn't--
"There was this little event called the Oscars that basically changed my life,” (Leto) said. “I’m not really in a hurry to jump into another film unless it’s something I can’t say no to. I want to make sure it’s special.”
OK, right, that's the kind of douchebag lack of humility people have been talking about. Look, it should go without saying that an obnoxious lack of self-awareness wouldn't necessarily preclude an actor from turning in a stellar performance. Hell, in some cases - maybe even this one! - that sort of dickery might even accentuate the performance. But it's also the sort of eyeroll-inducing response that isn't going to win Leto any support from those who are already opposed to the idea of him landing the role.
Who knows? Maybe Leto's gonna take the role, and maybe he's gonna kill it, and maybe we'll all eat our words about yet another questionable Joker casting choice. I'm totally cool with that happening, as I have a history of enjoying pleasant surprises ("Tacos?! You shouldn't have!"). All I'm saying is, it'd be nice to be able to root for the guy, and responses like the one above (and below; I've got the video version for you in case you'd like to experience the magic via full motion and sound) make that hard to do.
* = For what it's worth, I don't think another dude's the right way to go. If I had my way, it'd be Tilda Swinton in full Killing Joke-era Joker regalia. That shit would be terrifying.