New fan art posted online imagines what Jared Leto might have looked like as Arthur Fleck in Joker if he were the one cast instead of Joaquin Phoenix. Drawn up by the graphic artist Rinsh on Instagram, the artwork is described as an "alternate universe" piece in the caption. Depicting Leto in the Phoenix-style facepaint and multi-colored suit, it's one of the more bizarre fantasy casting ideas to be created with fan art, and it's bound to conjure up a variety of mixed opinions. You can take a look at the image below.
Leto previously played the Clown Prince of Crime in David Ayer's Suicide Squad, which was released in 2016 to great financial success but a mixed reaction from fans and critics. Although his screen time as the Joker in the movie was limited, there were plans at Warner Bros. for him to reprise the role in several other DCEU movies. Those projects have seemingly fizzled out, but we'll still be seeing more of Leto as the Joker soon enough. Just this month, it was revealed that he will reprise the role for Zack Snyder's Justice League on HBO Max.
Joaquin Phoenix has since established himself as a fan favorite Joker actor by starring in last year's Joker. Set in a standalone universe with no connections to any other DCEU movie, Joker served as an origin story for the character, following the mental decline of a clown-for-hire who reinvents himself as the Clown Prince of Crime. Earning tremendous critical acclaim, the movie nabbed Phoenix the Oscar for Best Actor and was also up for Best Picture and Best Director for Todd Phillips. A huge financial hit as well, the record-breaking movie is the first and only R-rated title to gross over $1 billion at the box office.
While Jared Leto will be reprising his version of the Joker in Zack Snyder's Justice League, it's unclear if we'll ever see more of Phoenix as Arthur Fleck. Although it was intended to be a standalone movie, its immense success opens the door for a sequel. Phoenix has previously suggested that he's open to reprising the role if the right idea came along, and Phillips said the two have discussed different ideas. A spinoff following Batman in the Joker universe was also suggested by Phillips in an interview with Variety this year. As of now, however, no Joker followup movies have entered production.
We'll also be seeing Leto taking on another comic book character when Morbius is released next year. Based on the Marvel Comics title Morbius, the Living Vampire, the movie follows Leto as Michael Morbius, a scientist suffering from a rare blood disease who inadvertently turns himself into a vampire. Morbius attempts to use his new superhuman abilities for good while struggling with a strong thirst for blood. Michael Keaton also appears in the movie, potentially reprising his role as Vulture from Spider-Man: Homecoming. Morbius is scheduled to release in theaters on March 19, 2021. The Leto in Joker fan art was created by Rinsh on Instagram.