The Reason Ryan Gosling Passed On Joining The DCEU

An astronaut, a stuntman, a romantic: Ryan Gosling is a man of many roles. To think that he could have added "supervillain" to the mix is quite unbelievable. The Hollywood heartthrob has delivered several versatile performances over the years, leaving his mark on multiple genres with his charm and acting talent.

For most of his career, Gosling has strayed away from committing to any long-term movie franchises. That will change with "The Gray Man," in which he'll star opposite former "Captain America" actor Chris Evans. An adaptation of Mark Greaney's espionage novel, the big-budgeted film is one of Netflix's biggest investments to date and has been pitched as the streamer's next big franchise. Gosling might have a different view on appearing in movie franchises now, but the actor wasn't always thrilled about them.

Gosling once gave up the chance to sign onto a role that would have cemented his name in the world of on-screen superheroes and villains.

Ryan Gosling Nearly Played The Joker

In 2014, The Wrap reported that Ryan Gosling was in contention to play beloved comic book villain The Joker in the DC Extended Universe's "Suicide Squad" film, which was directed by David Ayer. But Gosling was reluctant to sign a deal for multiple movies, so he ended up passing on the project.

As with any superhero franchise, joining DC's "Suicide Squad" meant the actor would need to reprise his role in future films. (Across town at Marvel Studios, many actors, including Chris Evans and Mark Ruffalo, signed six-picture contracts and appeared in several films over the years.) It seems Ryan Gosling valued retaining his freedom more than the notoriety that might come with accepting such a well-known part.

After the Oscar-nominated actor did not accept the role, the part went to Jared Leto, whose performance earned mixed reactions from fans. Some thought Leto's performance was reminiscent of the comics' depiction of Joker as an agent of chaos, while others believed his costume was atrocious and he wasn't given an opportunity to shine.

"Suicide Squad" came out in 2016, but Leto reprised his role last year in "Zack Snyder's Justice League," in a scene that lasted mere minutes. But this time, Leto's iteration of the supervillain better represented the unhinged brutality of the character – although, unfortunately, his ad-libbed "we live in a society" line did not make the final cut.

Gosling might have passed on joining the DC Extended Universe, but with the popularity of superhero franchises piquing the interest of Hollywood's biggest celebrities today, it's probably just a matter of time before we see him suit up.