A day after it was revealed that a Joker origin movie is in the works at Warner Bros. Pictures, unrelated to the DC Extended Universe, The Hollywood Reporter has just dropped another bombshell relating to DC Films’ upcoming slate. The site reports that Warner Bros. regulars Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, best known for Crazy, Stupid, Love and This Is Us, will be the latest directors to tackle a DC project.
The duo is in final negotiations to write and direct a currently untitled DCEU film that will focus around Jared Leto’s Joker and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, who shared the screen in 2016’s critically maligned Suicide Squad. Deadline provided some additional information on the news, claiming that this project and Gotham City Sirens, a Harley Quinn spin-off movie that will feature several female Gotham City criminals who embark on a dangerous mission, are two different movies. Suicide Squad director David Ayer is still attached to helm the latter. According to the outlet, Ficarra and Requa will also produce the Joker and Harley Quinn film.
The directors have actually worked with Robbie two times in the past on Focus and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Ficarra and Requa’s other work includes penning the script for Cats & Dogs and Bad Santa and helming I Love You Phillip Morris.
The project will land sometime after Suicide Squad 2 debuts in theaters, so it’s still a number of years away. As of now, the Suicide Squad sequel is being fast-tracked by the studio and is “out to directors.” Apparently, the Joker/Harley film is even further along in development than the aforementioned Joker origin film to be directed by The Hangover’s Todd Phillips, since “Warners has to contend with actors’ holding agreements,” or contracts for actors to appear in upcoming DC films, which could have expiration dates in the not-too-distant future.
Expect the Joker and Harley spin-off movie to be a “criminal love story” that centers heavily on the “toxic relationship” between the king and queen of Gotham City, which was shown to a lesser degree in Suicide Squad. An insider shared that it’s “an insane and twisted love story. When Harry Met Sally on benzedrine.”
If anything, this news tells us that DC has a lot of confidence in the Joker and Harley Quinn when it comes to bringing in box office dollars, which isn’t too much of a gamble given their extreme popularity. Audiences took to Robbie’s Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad right away, and while Leto’s Joker has been met with more lukewarm reception, he didn’t exactly have that much time to make an impression in Suicide Squad. The Joker is undeniably one of the most-beloved villains of all time, and future films should give fans a better taste of Leto as the clownish antagonist. Additionally, as a reminder, the Joker origin movie will be under a new Warner Bros. banner and feature a different actor as the character, so prepare for another interpretation as well.
Lastly, for what it’s worth, an earlier version of the THR article stated that Matt Reeves’ The Batman would not be a part of the DCEU or star Ben Affleck as Batman, but the site has since issued an update saying it’s “unclear where that project will fall.”
A lot of DC projects are in the works over at Warner Bros, so the world will just have to wait and see which ones actually get made and which ones fall by the wayside. For now, if the studio does make everything they’re claiming to be developing, DC movies will come flooding in over these next few years.