Warner Bros. Pictures has a total of six Joker-related movies in development, but not all of them are set to take place within the untitled DC film universe. The Joker is the most iconic Batman supervillain, which is why he's been adapted to the big and small screens multiple times over the years. Heath Ledger made his mark on the character by appearing in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight in 2008. Then, Jared Leto became the next person to play the Joker by starring in David Ayer's Suicide Squad in 2016 - the third film to release as part of the unofficially titled DCEU.
At the moment, there are more than two dozen DC Comics-related projects in various stages of development, of which six of them are now Joker-related movies. It can get quite confusing, especially since Jared Leto won't be in all of them. Instead, DC Films plans on launching a separate banner under which they can produce non-DCEU comic book movies. Sound confusing? That's because it is... to an extent. So, here are all the Joker-related movies explained.
- This Page: Joker Solo, Joker Origin, and Gotham City Sirens
- Page 2: Joker/Harley Quinn, Harley Quinn Solo, and Suicide Squad 2
Joker Suicide Squad Spinoff Movie
Jared Leto's portrayal of the Joker in 2016's Suicide Squad was significantly trimmed down in the final cut, which led to an extended version on home video. But it wasn't enough. David Ayer has admitted that he wished he made Leto's Joker the main villain of the story because the character has so much to work with, and it seems Warner Bros. agrees with that sentiment, for they are now pursuing a solo Joker movie with Leto in the title role.
Very few details are known about the project at this time, but it's believed that the spinoff movie will expand the corner of the DCEU that was established in Suicide Squad and tie into future DCEU installments featuring Task Force X. It's also unclear if this untitled Joker movie, which Leto is also attached as an executive producer, will go into production before or after Suicide Squad 2.
Joker Origin Movie
One of the things that Warner Bros. plans on doing with DC Films is making standalone DC Comics-based movies that can stand apart from the DCEU. The first movie to release under that currently unnamed banner is the Joker origin movie, which will be directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover Trilogy, War Dogs) and co-produced by legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese. Phillips is expected to co-write the script along with Oscar-nominated screenwriter Scott Silver (8 Mile, The Fighter).
Since this Joker origin movie will remain separate from the DCEU, it won't star Jared Leto in the title role. Instead, Joaquin Phoenix is reportedly in talks to play the Joker in the film. While plot details are currently being kept under wraps, it has been reported that the film will take place in the 1980s and showcase the Joker as a failed comedian who turns to a life of crime after being ridiculed by audiences. Based on the plot details that have been revealed so far, the Joker origin film will have similarities to Alan Moore's Batman: The Killing Joke graphic novel.
Gotham City Sirens
One of the first Suicide Squad spinoffs put into development was Gotham City Sirens in 2016, which would reteam David Ayer and Margot Robbie for an all-female DC supervillain film. Tomb Raider and Captain Marvel screenwriter Geneva Robertson-Dworet signed on to pen the screenplay. Although the movie was one of the first Joker/Harley Quinn-related projects revealed, its status has been somewhat murky over the years. Ayer has been busy working on Bright and Bright 2 for Netflix, whereas Robbie has been preoccupied with other films in addition to getting her own Harley Quinn movies off the ground.
Then, in early 2018, it was reported that Warner Bros. was no longer looking into developing Gotham City Sirens, which is based on the comic book team of the same name consisting of Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy. While it was unclear what Joker's role would be in the movie - if he even had one at all, though it was believed that he would at least appear briefly - it seems that this is the least likely project to move forward, with Robbie now focusing her time on Suicide Squad 2 and Birds of Prey - another all-female spinoff movie.
Joker/Harley Quinn Spinoff Movie
Screen Rant exclusive reported in 2017 that Warner Bros. was developing a Joker/Harley Quinn spinoff movie starring Jared Leto and Margot Robbie as the titular Batman villains (originally set as a Joker vs. Harley Quinn movie). That report was later confirmed, with Crazy, Stupid, Love directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa helming the movie. Instead of the film pitting the two characters against each other, the latest plot details suggest that the spinoff movie will be a "criminal love story" that has been described by one source as being "an insane and twisted love story. When Harry Met Sally on benzedrine." So, it makes sense that the studio would get Ficarra and Requa on board for that type of project.
Shortly after news broke about a Joker/Harley Quinn spinoff movie, it was reported that the film would replace David Ayer's Gotham City Sirens and act as a follow-up to Suicide Squad 2. While that news was never confirmed, it makes sense given that Gotham City Sirens appears to have been put on hold for now. Regardless, in addition to having solo and team-up movies for both Jared Leto's Joker and Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, Warner Bros. wants to put the two together for a spinoff movie that exists within the DCEU but can perhaps stand on its own.
Harley Quinn Solo Movie
While there are six Joker-related movies in the works, there are also five Harley Quinn-related projects gestating behind the scenes, of which one of them is a solo movie that appears to be separate from Gotham City Sirens, Birds of Prey, Suicide Squad 2, and the Joker/Harley Quinn movie. Instead, this movie will focus entirely on Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn alone, with Jared Leto potentially appearing as the Joker. Not much is known about the film at this time, other than the fact that Robbie is also expected to executive produce.
Since Robbie has several other Harley Quinn movies in development, especially ones that she is more passionate about, her solo film may not release for quite some time, and it logically won't come out before Suicide Squad 2 and Birds of Prey, both of which are already well into the development process. Plus, Leto also has multiple projects of his own in development that may be prioritized above a potential small role in a Harley Quinn solo film. As a side note: it's possible that the Harley Quinn solo movie has been merged into the Birds of Prey film, which Robbie has been quite passionate about getting made, but there hasn't been any confirmation on that front as of yet.
Suicide Squad 2
While all the previously mentioned movies are either spinoffs or standalone productions, Suicide Squad 2 is the only main sequel that's currently in development involving the Joker. It's worth noting that, although Suicide Squad was an indisputable critical failure, it was quite a successful movie financially. It grossed a whopping $746 million at the worldwide box office (without releasing in China) against an estimated production budget of $175 million. That's why Warner Bros. has put so many spinoffs into development as well as a mainline sequel featuring the return of Task Force X, along with Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn and Jared Leto's Joker.
The Accountant director Gavin O'Connor has signed on to helm the film as well as pen the latest draft of the script that had previously received drafts and treatments from Adam Cozad (The Legend of Tarzan), Zak Penn (Ready Player One), John Ostrander (Justice League Unlimited), and Anthony Tambakis (Warrior). Oscar-nominated producer for Captain Phillips, Michael De Luca, has also signed on to produce the movie, which is expected to see the bulk of Task Force X return, including Will Smith's Deadshot. However, there hasn't been any confirmed casting as of yet. Suicide Squad 2 will also reportedly enter production in 2019, though there's no word on when the movie might release.