In the past week, a flurry of new and occasionally conflicting announcements have arrived regarding the future of The Joker on the big screen. Over the years, Warner Bros. and DC have realized a number of Jokers on film and television, with Jared Leto the latest to portray the character. After being teased in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad debuted the new take on the Clown Prince of Crime, portrayed by Jared Leto. Since then, it’s been assumed that the actor would continue playing the character across the growing DCEU, but this past week’s reports have brought that into question.
As of now, multiple movies seem to be in development prominently featuring the Joker—but not necessarily Leto. The Oscar winner is expected to reprise the role in two films, with rumors swirling that his presence may extend even further into the DCEU. In an effort to keep track of all the information out there, let’s break down each of The Joker’s potential future appearances across the DC film universe.
Untitled Joker Origin Movie
For months now, rumors have been going back and forth about whether or not Jared Leto will return as the Joker in a future DCEU movie. So far, the actor has been quiet on the subject. He did, however, recently state he’s still committed to the role—without confirming which projects he may appear in next. Muddying the waters further was the announcement earlier this week that Warner Bros. and DC are developing a Joker origin movie said to be outside of the DCEU.
While information is still scarce on the film and the project hasn’t yet been confirmed by WB or DC, it appears the movie will be a gritty crime film focusing on Joker’s rise to power in the ‘80s. Aside from sitting outside the current DCEU, another actor will tackle the role. Interestingly, the film is said to be produced by Martin Scorsese, with Todd Phillips (The Hangover) directing and co-writing. While the pair may seem like unlikely bedfellows, perhaps their separate aesthetics could lead to an interesting film.
It seems that DC may be taking a cue from their Elseworlds comic line and diving into side stories featuring alternate versions of their biggest characters. There have been rumors of the graphic novel Superman: Red Son getting a similar treatment, so we could see a separate line of DC and WB films free from the constraints of continuity.
Of course, DC starting a new Joker franchise shortly after Leto infamously stepped into the role would be an odd move. After all, the recent solo film announcement has been confusing enough for die-hard fans, so it’s tough to say how general audiences will react to so many separate stories and actors tackling the character. And to make matters more complicated, the potential Joker solo film isn’t the only movie that will prominently feature the supervillain.
Untitled Joker & Harley Quinn Movie
Back in July, we broke the story that that a romantic team-up movie starring the Joker and Harley Quinn was in development. The news seemed to come out of nowhere, indicating that WB and DC were keen to cash in on two of their most popular IPs. More recently, multiple sources finally corroborated our original story saying the film is in fact underway.
The movie is set to be directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, known for the films Crazy, Stupid, Love and I Love You Phillip Morris. They’re also responsible for the acclaimed NBC series This Is Us, set to sweep the Emmys, which is executive produced and directed by the pair. Along with helming the Joker and Harley Quinn film, Ficarra and Requa are set to write the script.
All signs seem to point towards Leto and Margot Robbie reprising their roles from Suicide Squad as the Joker and Harley Quinn, respectively. That said, the news of the non-DCEU Joker movie has made things a little less certain. The news was accompanied by rumors that Gotham City Sirens is being scrapped in favor of the Joker/Harley film, but the films remain two separate projects - for now, with David Ayer still set to direct the former - for now. Still, DC’s film slate has been notoriously malleable over the years, so anything’s possible at this point.
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