‘Suicide Squad’ Looks to Add Kerry Washington as Jared Leto Discusses Those Joker Rumors
Of all the films in Warner Bros.’ ambitious slate of upcoming movies based on DC comic-book characters, ‘Suicide Squad’ seems like the odd man out. However, that may be appropriate, considering that this is a film about a team of incarcerated supervillains who are given a chance for redemption by going on dangerous missions for the government. As a superhero movie without actual heroes, it was always going to stand out. Which brings us to today’s new tidbits, which suggest that yes, Jared Leto really is in talks to play the Joker and that Kerry Washington may play one of the coolest characters in the DC universe.
Let’s start with that second one. According to a completely unconfirmed report, the ‘Scandal’ and ‘Django Unchained’ star is being sought to play Amanda Waller. Normal people may not know that name, but comic fans know it all-too-well. Waller is traditionally the woman in charge of the Suicide Squad in the comics (although she has her fingers in many pies) and she’s a bit of a badass. With no superpowers at her disposal, Waller is forced to rely on her wits to outmaneuver, manipulate, and bend super-powered heroes and villains to her will. Nothing scares her and nothing surprises her. She’s like a bureaucratic female Batman with fewer morals.
If the character is in the script (and it wouldn’t be a ‘Suicide Squad’ story without her) and Washington is actually being looked at for the part, then she will be the fourth live-action incarnation of Waller. Pam Grier played her on ‘Smallville’ back in the day, Angela Bassett portrayed her in the ill-fated ‘Green Lantern’ movie, and Cynthia Addai-Robinson is currently bringing the character to life on ‘Arrow.’
Although Waller was originally drawn as a heavyset woman (which made her command over musclebound superheroes all the more amusing and cool), she has recently been reinvented in the comics as a more typically sexy (i.e. boring) character. Because heaven forbid that the DC universe contain any fat people! Washington is a perfect fit for the physicality of the new Amanda Waller, but she’s also a pretty wonderful actress whose years on ‘Scandal’ have surely prepared for a role like this. If there is truth to this rumor, we’re okay with it. Don’t mind our grumbling. We’re comic-book fans. We grumble every day about everything.
And that brings us to Jared Leto, the newly-minted Oscar winner who has apparently been approached to play the latest incarnation of the Joker. Speaking with MTV (check out the video below, the actor spent well over a minute answering their question about him taking the iconic villain... by not answering the question at all. Although he does make a slightly funny ‘Fight Club’ joke, so he has that going for him.
Leto claims that he’s in no hurry to accept any roles right now and that he’s perfectly willing to rest on laurels for a while. We don’t buy that for a second (acting like you don’t want something is the first rule of any negotiation), although any actor would hesitate to take on a character last played by Heath Ledger in one of the most memorable comic-book movie performances of all time. That’s a big responsibility and it will put you under a lot of scrutiny from fans. People take this character very seriously. Oh, and then there’s the contract that requires you to appear in a number of other movies. There you go. There are plenty of reason for Leto to not play the Joker. And yet, Leto’s answer does indicate that he has been talking about the part. Even if he doesn’t end up accepting it, this feels like confirmation that he’s being considered.
‘Suicide Squad’ will open on August 5, 2016. The cast wishlist also includes Margot Robbie, Tom Hardy, and Will Smith.