Jared Leto


  1. Leonardo DiCaprio, Titanic, 1996.
  2. Jon Abrahams, Scary Movie, 1999.     Because  of the remarkable Requiem for a Dream, Leto quit the raucous horror satire partly based on the Wayans brothers’ all-embracing  1998 script… Last Summer I Screamed Because Halloween Fell On Friday The 13th.  
  3. Christian Bale, American Psycho, 1999.     Loooong story! The Lions Gate producers wanted Edward Norton as the titular Patrick Bateman. Instead, director Mary Harron ran through a bunch of fresher faces: Leto, Ben Chaplin, Billy Crudup, Robert Sean Leonard, Jonny Lee Miller, Jonathon Schaech. She was allowed Bale, if she backed him up with some  bigger names (enter: Willem Dafoe, Reese Witherspoon). Harron then quit when  the  suits reneged and signed Leonardo Di Caprio for Bateman! Oliver Stone moved in. Then, Leo (getting bad Press for pushing Bale out) quit for The Beach (pushing Ewan McGregor out).  Stone followed.  Ultimately, Harron and Bale were welcomed back.  Leto joined them as Bale’s lookalike colleague
  4. Russell Crowe, A Brilliant Mind, 2001.   The choice of the right actor to  portray the schizophrenic Noble Prize-winning mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr was vital.  Which hae me wondering  why  Keanu Reeves, Charlie Sheen, John Travolta and  Bruce Willis   were on the short-list!    Then again they might have proved as surprising as Crowe. Director Ron Howard’s other candidates included  Alec Baldwin, Matthew Broderick, Nicolas Cage, Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, John Cusack, Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr, Ralph Fiennes, Mel Gibson,  Jared Leto, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt. Nash  liked the  six-Oscar-winner. “But it wasn’t me.”    
  5. Hayden Christensen, Awake, 2005.  Every year 21million people are put under anesthesia. Some of them (1, in 42,000) like the heart-transplant patient Leto passed to Christensen, stay awake.  Or, aware… of everything!   UK auteur Joby Harold’s thriller was almost totally bad-mouthed but Chicago critic Roger Ebert sought it out (it had no media screenings) and was completely absorbed. “Accuracy is not the point. Suspense is.”
  6. Ryan Phillippe, Flags Of Our Fathers, 2006.      He actually turned down director Clint Eastwood!  And producer Steven Spielberg!  And why…? To  spend more time with his band, 30 Seconds to Mars.   Do ya feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?
  7. Ryan Reynolds, Green Lantern, 2010.    Leto, Jack Black, Henry Cavill, Bradley Cooper, Michael Fassbender, Nathan Fillion, Brian Austin Green, Eddie Murphy, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake, Sam Worthington and even the 2012 Superman (Henry Cavill) were all rejected for the DC Comic hero with the super-powered ring. (Make of that what you will). After a six-year lay-off (with his rock band) Leto returned with an Oscar-winning portrait of a transgendered woman battling AIDS and drugs in Dallas Buyers Club,   2012.
  8. Benedict Cumberbatch, Doctor Strange, 2015.  Discussed, planned, written, re-spun since 1986, always dropped despite scripts from Alex Cox, Wes Craven, Bob Gale, etc, until chosen as the  portal into the supernatural side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.Mads Mikkelsen  was first choice. But that was in in 2013…  Among those laterflown up the flagpole were TV doctor Patrick Dempsey, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jon Hamm, Tom Hardy, Ethan Hawke, Jack Huston, Oscar Isaac, Matthew McConaughey, Ewan McGregor, Vincent Price (in 1986!), Keanu Reeves (listed but never approached – how wise!), Justin Theroux. Oh and two Jokers: 2015’s Jared Leto and 2018’s Joachin Phoenix.  Finally, production wisely waited until after Cumberbatch’s Hamlet stagetriumph in London. If Iron Man is Mick Jagger, Strange is Jim Morrison…  and could be head of the MCU when Robert Downey pawned his ironmongery.  
  9. Luke Evans, The Girl on  the Train, 2016. Never any question in producer Marc Platt’s mind  about who would be The Girl – Emily Blunt, from  his Into The Woods.  But Scott only became Evans when Leto was a prisoner of his own  busy schedule. He did well to miss the  messy Hitchcock wannabe – never came close.




 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  9