The critics may have been very unkind to its premiere in cinemas back in 2016, but “Suicide Squad”, a film featuring antiheroes and super-villains in a deniable-ops team set in DC Entertainment and Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe (DCEU), still achieved some respectable box-office gains for that year. Part of the myriad reasons it was still a hit with moviegoers was its eclectic cast of characters interpreted by some breakout actors. One of these is Batman bad guy the Joker, played by Jared Leto. His one-off appearance was so memorable that Warner-DC is green-lighting a spinoff with Leto as star.
Variety tells us that sources in the studio have revealed that a DCEU “Joker” standalone film is now being conceptualized, with Jared Leto set to reprise his role from “Suicide Squad”. The actor is reportedly also sitting as executive producer for the project, which is being slated to start production after another planned DCEU film starring Harley Quinn, portrayed in “Suicide Squad” by Margot Robbie to positive reactions. This was a surprise development considering that last year Warner-DC announced plans for a Joker origin story film that is not part of the DCEU, with Joaquin Phoenix taking the lead role.
News of this movie comes as a great relief to fans of Leto’s take on the iconic DC super-villain, which was starkly different from previous live-action portrayals. It was also regrettably short in “Suicide Squad”, belying the amount of promotional hype drummed up for his role. The Academy Award-winning actor is quite pleased that it was given the go-ahead by Warner Bros., as he had expressed interest following the 2016 premiere of “Suicide Squad” further expand his characterization of the Joker in future DCEU movies, preferably in a starring role.
Leto also has plenty of time to prepare for this future undertaking, following his most recent roles as an antagonist in 2017’s “Blade Runner 2047” as well as the online film “The Outsider”, which premiered for streaming on Netflix this March. The next step of the embryonic production unit is to find a writer for the Joker film, as well as to decide when to start filming. It is already slated that a sequel to “Suicide Squad” begin production in 2019, and Leto is also returning there as the Clown Prince of Crime. Also up in the air for now is the other, unrelated Joker origins movie with Joaquin Phoenix.