It’s been a hell of a 48 hours for DC fans. First we got the news that Warner Bros. was working on a gritty Joker origin film outside the DCEU, and that they were working on a banner that would allow them to tell “elseworld” stories with DC characters that aren’t restricted by the current universe. Then The Batman director Matt Reeves said (via a month-old interview) that his Batman film would not be in the extended universe. Now, we can debate what he means by this (some think he means the film will just be standalone in nature), but the reality is that he says it’s not part of the extended universe.
All of a sudden, over the course of a short period of time, we go from one cohesive universe with many films to one big universe with many films, and two films that fall outside of it. Many folks (including us) were starting to wonder if this was an escape hatch for Warner Bros. Perhaps with all the trouble the Justice League had getting off the ground, they worried it would mean the end of the DCEU. But this next piece of news suggests that they’re going full steam ahead with both strategies, DCEU and not.
According to THR, directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa — known for films like Crazy, Stupid, Love and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, as well as the TV series This Is Us — are in final negotiations to write and direct a Joker and Harley Quinn spinoff film. Unlike the aforementioned Joker film, this one will be set in the DCEU, and both Jared Leto and Margot Robbie will reprise their roles as the Joker and Harley Quinn, respectively.
The plan for this film is to happen after Suicide Squad 2 — a film that is being fasttracked, and is currently in search of a director. This Joker and Harley film is being called a “criminal love story” and one insider said it was “an insane and twisted love story. When Harry Met Sally on benzedrine.”
One film that’s still surprisingly silent here is Gotham City Sirens, a movie that was set to be produced by Margot Robbie and directed by Suicide Squad helmer David Ayer. If you’ll remember, last month Ayer sang the praises of Netflix, and some extrapolated his statements about being more limited at a traditional studio to being statements about his experience with Warner Bros. on Suicide Squad. Additionally, Gotham City Sirens was noticeably absent from the DCEU lineup in DC’s Hall H panel, and rumors circulated that Ayer would be out of the DCEU altogether. Although Ayer posted a drawing of Harley Quinn on Twitter around that time — seeming to address rumors of him being out — this latest new from THR only seems to push that theory even more.
Either way, it seems like we are approaching interesting times for Warner Bros. and DC Film. We’ll have to wait and see how it pans out.
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