With Hollywood’s love affair with franchises seems to grow exponentially every day, the recent flurry of headlines about a Joker origin story, “Suicide Squad” sequels and spinoffs, and major “Batman” casting news is enough to make your head spin. Of course, the mere mention of Martin Scorsese as a producer clearly puts one of these projects on a different level, but there is plenty of excitement to go around with a character this iconic.
While details are fuzzy as everything is in early stages, Warner Bros. is laying the foundation for multiple standalone projects that do not exist within the DC Extended Universe, as reported by Deadline. At the same time, the studio is moving forward with “Suicide Squad” sequel. The idea is to capitalize on the popularity of the characters while luring bigger name directors with the prospect of working outside the confines of pre-existing storylines.
Here is everything we know about the four Joker-related projects that may or may not be situated in the DCEU:
A Joker origin story from Todd Phillips, Scott Silver, and Martin Scorsese.
Warners and DC are in the early stages of giving The Joker a proper origin story, set in a gritty early-’80s Gotham City that has much in common with the New York City of “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull.” Todd Phillips (“The Hangover”) will direct a script by Phillips and “8 Mile” scribe Scott Silver, with Scorsese as producer. The project will be the first under the yet-to-be-named new banner of standalone films that can digress from timelines or stories in the DCEU, and will re-cast the character from his most recent Jared Leto interpretation.
A Joker and Harley Quinn dark romance with Jared Leto and Margot Robbie from the “Crazy, Stupid Love” team.
Described as “an insane and twisted love story. ‘When Harry Met Sally’ on benzedrine,” this “Suicide Squad” spinoff will give viewers more of the two best parts of the disappointing first adaptation. Jared Leto and Margot Robbie will reprise their roles in this thrilling the prospect of a Harley Quinn and The Joker in “Bonnie and Clyde” on speed. “Crazy, Stupid Love” directing duo Glenn Ficarra and John Requa are developing the project, riding the success of NBC’s heartwarming Emmy contender “This Is Us.” The project is said to be further along in development than the Scorsese-produced one, which means we may be seeing it first.
“Suicide Squad 2” is being “fast-tracked” and will start shooting next year.
Despite some brutal reviews, David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad” earned a whopping $745.6 million worldwide, making a sequel an obvious slam dunk for Warners. The movie was an early success for the fledgling DCEU, which got a huge boost with the wildly successful “Wonder Woman,” and also includes other member of the Justice League Batman and Superman. Ayer is not attached to the sequel, and Mel Gibson and Guy Ritchie have both been floated as possible directors. Leto and Robbie are reportedly on board to return, and this is likely the soonest we will be seeing The Joker again.
Confusion abounds over whether Matt Reeves’ standalone “The Batman” will star Ben Affleck.
There have been whispered rumors that Affleck would step down from playing Batman for the forthcoming solo film, but that still has not been confirmed. In The Hollywood Reporter’s story on the Joker/Harley Quinn project, they caused confusion with an error stating “The Batman” would not be aort of the DCEU and would cast a new actor. They have since issued a correction, and Reeves clarified his earlier comments via Twitter: “Just to be clear: Of COURSE Batman will be part of the D.C. Universe. Batman will be BATMAN.”