Exclusive: Warner Bros. Still Want a Joker/Harley Quinn Film, Current Plans for the DCEU Revealed

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros. Still Want a Joker/Harley Quinn Film, Current Plans for the DCEU Revealed

6 min


DC Films’ next installment, Birds of Prey is right around the corner and is very much a companion piece to 2016’s Suicide Squad. With it recently coming to light how disappointed Jared Leto was with Warner Bros. moving forward with Todd Phillips’ Joker instead of his own solo film, we set out to find out more.

A source close to FandomWire has informed us of the current mindset of Warner Bros. when it comes to the future DC Films and Jared Leto’s Joker.

Do you remember 2014?

I remember. The sky was the limit for DC Films as they were in the process of crafting the DC Extended Universe (their counter to the Marvel Cinematic Universe).

Man of Steel (2013) was fairly well received and a welcome tonal shift from what we were seeing Marvel do. Ben Affleck was cast as, and sure to give us a very different take on, Batman. And Jared Leto, fresh off of his first Oscar, was going to be taking on the role of the Joker in 2016’s Suicide Squad.

Jump forward 5 years and things are quite different. The DCEU is rudderless, lacking a clear sense of direction. While Wonder Woman (2017), Aquaman (2018), and Shazam! (2019) moved the cinematic universe forward and had critical and financial success, films like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Suicide Squad (2016), and Justice League (2017) left a lot to be desired with fans and critics.

Also Read: ‘Joker’ On Its Way to Becoming the Highest Grossing R-Rated Film of All Time

New Age of the DCEU

Now, in 2019, we are looking at a company (Warner Bros.) that is taking a different approach to their IP. Walter Hamada was appointed DC Films president in January of 2018 which led to more emphasis on individual character-driven stories instead of cinematic universe building.

This change in direction is what allowed movies like Todd Phillips’ Joker, a movie completely removed from the cinematic universe mold, to be made in the first place.

The new direction has left fans and actors wondering what the future of the DCEU is. Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill are seemingly out as Batman and Superman respectively, while the sequel to Wonder Woman (2017), Wonder Woman 1984 is set to release summer of 2020, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad will be releasing in 2021, and plans for an Aquaman sequel and Flash solo film are well underway.

Also Read: REVIEW: ‘Joker’ Is As Disturbing As It Is Fascinating

Warner Bros. and DC Films have notoriously announced films that never ended up seeing the light of day, but one film, a Joker/Harley Quinn movie seemed like a likely contender to actually hit the big screen. Our source has confirmed that Warner Bros. is very much still developing a Joker/Harley Quinn movie that would star Margot Robbie and Jared Leto, reprising their roles from 2016’s Suicide Squad).

Leto’s involvement in the project is up in the air seeing as he wasn’t impressed with how his performance was handled in Suicide Squad or how Joker (2019) took priority over the project. Warner Bros. would likely recast Leto’s character, if they are unable to make amends, and if they were to move forward with the couple’s storyline from Suicide Squad (2016) and Birds of Prey (2020).

Robin’s defaced suit (by the Joker) in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

It’s Simple… We Kill The Batman

According to our source, a lot more is riding on Birds of Prey (2020) than we might have previously thought. While Warner Bros. has found success in the lighter tones of Wonder Woman (2017), Aquaman (2018), and Shazam! (2019), their darker-toned films like Suicide Squad (2016) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) have been very financially lucrative as well.

Warner Bros. will move forward with the darker corner of the DCEU as long as people keep going out to see the movies. A Joker/Harley film would be the likely next step after Birds of Prey (2020) and The Suicide Squad (2021). If these films do well financially and critically we could see Warner Bros. continue to make films centered around the Batman rogue’s gallery. There is just one issue… there is no Batman.

Also Read: Paul Dano Cast as The Riddler in Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman’

Ben Affleck portrayed the DCEU’s version of Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Suicide Squad (2016), and Justice League (2017). Early 2019, however, he officially announced he is hanging up the cape and cowl, leaving this universe without a Batman.

There aren’t any plans for Henry Cavill’s Superman to appear in any DCEU films any time soon either, which seems to be leading to a Justice League universe without a Batman or Superman.

I know, it seems odd to me too.

Some of you might be wondering how Matt Reeves’ The Batman (2021) starring Robert Pattinson will fit into all of this? The short answer… it won’t.

Image result for j.j. abrams and matt reeves

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, Nope, It’s another Reboot

Robert Pattinson’s Batman will be a complete reboot of the character. Our source tells us that if Matt Reeves decided to use the Joker character, it would be an entirely different version of the character (and another actor). The Batman (2021) is currently in the casting process with Zoë Kravitz cast as Catwoman and Paul Dano cast as The Riddler officially last week.

Our source has also stated that J.J. Abrams is being eyed to take on a Superman reboot that would be set in the Matt Reeves Batman universe, which lines up with rumors that have been circulating since the summer.

Abrams signed an exclusivity deal with WarnerMedia (worth a quarter billion dollars) in September, that very well could include a notable role in the future development of DC films. This along with J.J.’s previously canceled Superman project, Superman: Flyby all signs point towards a Superman reboot with J.J. at the helm.

Double Down.

It seems instead of focusing on just one cinematic universe, Warner Bros. is doubling down and will have two concurrent ones simultaneously (three if you count Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker world).

Also Read: Zoë Kravitz Will Play Catwoman in ‘The Batman’

The Walter Hamada, led DC Films seems to be much more willing to have multiple versions and multiple universes with our beloved DC characters, across multiple mediums. We are living in an age where audiences are much more understanding of multiverses and timeline meddling.

What do you think of Warner Bros. plans for the DCEU and do you think a rebooted universe is the way to go? Let us know in the comments.


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Sean Steele

Modern media jack of all trades... I've been an active patron of nerd and film culture for a number of years. I grew up in Minnesota/Wisconsin but reside in Nashville, TV. I have been Vice President and Managing Editor of FandomWire since its inception in late 2017.