Jared Leto’s Joker was a long way from being the worst or most annoying part of Suicide Squad (that was, of course - there is no disputing this - Harley Quinn, by a thousand nautical miles), but regardless, he didn’t have the best time of it in the press. For all the hype behind his appearance, he wasn’t really on-screen for that long, and when he was, it was a tad underwhelming. Still, that kind of negative reaction isn’t going to stop him getting his own film, is it?
Jared Leto will star and executive produce a standalone Joker movie which will expand on the world set out by Suicide Squad, as will a Harley Quinn movie called Birds Of Prey. A title, plot details or director and writer have yet to be announced, so it’s still in the early stages, but it’s definitely happening.
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But here’s where it gets complicated. Warner also have another Joker movie in the works, with Joaquin Phoenix set to play Batman’s arch-nemesis, under the direction of Todd Phillips (The Hangover). So what’s going on here then? Well, this film is set to be released under an ‘Origins’ banner, and will be separate from the DCEU’s continuity (that’s your Justice League crew - Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck et al).
Essentially, Warner want to have a separate load of films running in a different direction, that will allow them to tell alternative stories based on the same characters, but with no overlap into the main Extended Universe. That’s a lot of Jokers.
Perhaps a Leto Joker movie was spurned on by the actor’s reported unhappiness with the way Suicide Squad treated his character - he told IGN back in 2016:
“Were there any that didn’t get cut? I’m asking you, were there any that didn’t get cut? There were so many scenes that got cut from the movie, I couldn’t even start. I think that the Joker… we did a lot of experimentation on the set, we explored a lot. There’s so much that we shot that’s not in the film.”
This at least means he’ll be able to explore the character a little more in a solo movie, although whether audiences will be on board with it will remain to be seen. The spin-off is, according to Warner, “paving the way for future movies branching from Suicide Squad“, but as the recent not-exactly-explosive-success of Solo has proved, that might not be the best strategy after all.
Either way, better start filling up those condoms, Leto!