Jared Leto has become famously picky when it comes to choosing acting roles over the past few years, especially since his band, 30 Seconds to Mars, has taken off. But now that he has an Oscar under his belt for Dallas Buyers Club, he’s no doubt in high demand, and the actor has chosen what will be his first acting project since inhabiting The Joker for the upcoming Suicide Squad. It was announced today that Leto will lead the action thriller The Outsider, which takes place in post-World War II Japan and follows an imprisoned American soldier who is released with the help of his Yakuza cellmate, only to find himself working to repay his debt in the dangerous criminal underworld.
Danish filmmaker Martin Zandvliet, who last helmed the German POW story Land of Mine—which is on tap for an awards season release later this year—is set to direct The Outsider, marking his English-language debut. He’ll be working from a script by Andrew Baldwin, who penned the upcoming Idris Elba buddy cop film Bastille Day, and production on the action-thriller is aiming to get underway this fall via Waypoint Entertainment and Linson Entertainment.
This marks only Leto’s second role since Dallas Buyers Club, although he flirted with the idea of joining the star-studded ensemble for the bestseller adaptation The Girl on the Train, which has Emily Blunt starring and Luke Evans filling the role that Leto was eyeing. Warner Bros.’ plans for The Joker beyond Suicide Squad remain to be seen, but it’ll be interesting to see if Leto’s character returns for the sequel or if he’ll get a starring role opposite Ben Affleck in the inevitable standalone Batman film. Whatever the case, Leto is a method actor and chooses his projects carefully, so something about The Outsider certainly sparked to him.