Considering the last time the Joker was the main villain in a superhero film, Christopher Nolan’s classic The Dark Knight, said film grossed over a billion dollars at the global box office. No other movie villain, except Darth Vader, has the reputation to propel multiple movie pitches at once. Which is exactly what we have got this week, with the Clown Prince of Crime’s cinematic future being charted out for three new films.
The first announcement came from Deadline that Warner Bros and DC are putting together a film about the Joker’s origins. Said film will be written and directed by The Hangover’s Todd Philips, with Martin Scorsese on board as a producer. The film will apparently be separate from the DC Extended Universe iteration of the character, played by Jared Leto, and made in the style of Scorsese’s Taxi Driver with a younger actor in the lead role.
That’s not the only news concerning DC’s most famous villain. It turns out the sequel to Suicide Squad is being fast-tracked into production. There is no news as to whether Leto’s Joker will appear in the sequel but the bigger question is who will be filling the director’s seat. David Ayer, who directed the first film, is busy with Gotham City Sirens, which will also star Margot Robbie reprising her role as Harley Quinn. The frontrunners for the movie are Mel Gibson, who has had a career resurgence thanks to the critical and commercial success of Hacksaw Ridge, but Guy Ritche has also expressed interest.
If you thought that was all then you’re sorely mistaken. There is now news that Leto and Robbie will star in a Joker and Harley spin-off. The film, which is set to take place after the events of Suicide Squad 2, will explore the relationship between DC’s most toxic couple. John Requa & Glenn Ficarra, directors of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, and Crazy, Stupid, Love, neither film a financial success.
While this is exciting news for fans of both the Joker and Harley Quinn, there will be a section of fans that will feel that this much attention on the Joker will rob the character of his mystique, something that greatly benefited Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the character. This also means that DC are doubling down on films centred around Batman’s place in the DC cannon. Apart from the origin movies of the other members of the Justice League, all of the other projects have a strong connection to the Caped Crusader.