Despite earning terrible reviews, “Suicide Squad” (2016) made Warner Bros. almost $747 million at the worldwide box office. In addition to the “Suicide Squad” sequel, a source close to the studio told IndieWire that a third offshoot of the David Ayer feature is in development: a standalone film dedicated to Jared Leto’s the Joker.
Leto would also executive produce the tentpole, which does not yet have a writer or director attached. Leto first served as executive producer on his 2003 John David Chapman biopic, “Chapter 27,” and most recently on Netflix’s “The Outsider,” in which he also starred.
“I loved the Joker, he’s a great character, a really fun character to play,” Leto said in a September interview with the British YouTube channel ODE Entertainment. “It’s a big universe and when you play the Joker, there’s no ownership there. You have the honor of holding the baton for a little while and then passing it off. But there are other films in development and I’m excited to see what comes from them.”
DC’s prior Joker, Heath Ledger, won a posthumous Oscar for playing the smarmy anti-hero in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight.” Leto’s “Suicide Squad” incarnation was more cruel and self-assured, sporting slicked-back hair, face tattoos, and silver-capped fangs.
Warners is also developing a “Suicide Squad” sequel to be written and directed by Gavin O’Connor (“The Accountant”); according to Variety, the second installment will probably enter production next year. Also in the works is a “girl gang” movie fronted by Leto’s “Suicide Squad” paramour, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie, who will executive produce with her LuckyChap Entertainment banner). Second-time director Cathy Yan (“Dead Pigs”) will oversee the film, which is expected to be based on DC’s “Birds of Prey” comics.
Meanwhile, in August 2017, Deadline reported that Todd Phillips (“The Hangover” trilogy) and Martin Scorsese would direct and produce a Joker origin story that would also kick off an as-yet unnamed DC offshoot banner. In February, Variety reported that Joaquin Phoenix would play the lead. Neither Phoenix nor Warner Bros. have confirmed that collaboration.