After Suicide Squad was such a critical disappointment, Warner Bros. seemingly did the smart thing and took pretty much the only redeeming part of that film – Margot Robbie‘s Harley Quinn – and strapped a rocket to her, putting in motion her own solo movie as well as the female-led Birds Of Prey movie. However, it now seems they’ve got plans for her main squeeze, too.
Variety reports that Warner Bros. is developing a standalone film for Jared Leto‘s portrayal of The Joker. Plot details remain under wraps, but the studio is reportedly looking to expand the world created in Suicide Squad with various films tied into the property.
Leto and the studio are still searching for a writer, and it’s unclear if the solo Joker movie would head into production before Suicide Squad 2. The studio has been aggressive in trying to form a cinematic universe off the villainous team-up, with Gotham City Sirens and a separate Harley/Joker team-up movie in the works, to go along with the aforementioned projects above.
On top of all of that, the studio is still developing a separate Joker film with The Hangover director Todd Philipps helming a gritty origin story set in New York, with Joaquin Phoenix long rumoured to be playing the clown prince of crime. Warner Bros. has long stated that this potential film would be completely standalone and would not impact Leto’s Joker at all.
Still, this is a lot of projects in the works. To move ahead with a standalone Leto Joker movie is a curious decision, considering that his portrayal of the character was met with mixed reviews, and to potentially have two concurrent Joker solo movies in production at the same time doesn’t seem like the greatest idea.
However, money talks, and Warner Bros. know that the Joker likely equals strong box office revenue, so they will drive the character into the ground if it means considerable profits. Though as we just saw with the (relatively) lacklustre box office showing of Solo: A Star Wars Story, studios have to be careful not to burn out audiences with too many releases within a short period of time.
Thus with Warner Bros. having six potential Quinn/Joker/Suicide Squad related films in the works right now, that seems totally untenable, and we’ll surely see one or two projects drop off the map in the coming months. Either way, the studio’s desperation to wash the taste of the flailing DCEU out of audience’s mouths is palpable.