Warner Bros. is looking to expand on Jared Leto’s version of the Joker, which debuted in 2016’s “Suicide Squad,” with a movie of his own.
According to the report, the actor will star in and executive produce the film, which is said to be “paving the way” for additional Suicide Squad spin-offs. Warner Bros. had a film focused on Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn in development before Suicide Squad even landed in theaters, but the Joker news suggests that the studio’s efforts to turn Squad into its own mini-cinematic universe are solidifying.
Plot details are currently unknown, but the studio’s idea is to expand on the world created by “Suicide Squad” and tie into future installments of that property. Warner Bros. already announced that Margot Robbie’s version of Harley Quinn would be getting her own movie with a “Birds of Prey” feature, and the next goal was setting up a film for Leto’s Joker.
When Warner Bros. announced last fall that it was developing a Joker origin tale from Todd Phillips, the studio emphasized that this did not mean the end for Leto’s Joker. Rather, Phillips’ film would fall under a new origins banner that would be separate from the current cinematic DC universe. This new banner would allow multiple actors and versions based on the same character with no overlap, and WB has already tapped Joaquin Phoenix to star in Phillips’ Joker pic.
The character’s creator, Jerry Robinson, wrote: “They’ve given many origins of the Joker, how he came to be. That doesn’t seem to matter-just how he is now. I never intended to give a reason for his appearance. We discussed that and Bill [Finger] and I never wanted to change it at that time.
“I thought-and he agreed-that it takes away some of the essential mystery.”
So while we probably won’t get a Bruce Wayne story of seeing his parents shot dead, hopefully we get some idea of his origins.
There’s no word on when this standalone film will come out but we can expect the Suicide Squad sequel next year so maybe more will be revealed in that movie.
Leto was most recently seen in “Blade Runner: 2049” and Netflix’s “The Outsider.” He is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.