The 2 Canceled Joker Movies We"re Extremely Relieved DC Never Made

The DC Universe almost saw two Joker movies starring Jared Leto after Suicide Squad. Jared Leto first played the Joker in 2016’s Suicide Squad in what was the first theatrical version of the Clown Prince of Crime since Heath Ledger’s performance in The Dark Knight. Despite its strong box office run, Suicide Squad premiered to harsh reviews, which left the future of the franchise and its characters in check.
DC would only revisit the Suicide Squad on the big screen in 2021 with The Suicide Squad, a soft reboot written and directed by James Gunn. Between Suicide Squad and The Suicide Squad, Margot Robbie returned as Harley Quinn in Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey, which only featured the Joker as a stand-in actor. However, Jared Leto could have returned as the Joker in at least two movies after Suicide Squad.
Why Harley Quinn & The Joker and Jared Leto's Solo Joker Movie Were Both Canceled A Harley Quinn vs. The Joker movie by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa was announced to be in the works in 2017. This unmade DCEU film would have seen Margot Robbie and Jared Leto reprise their roles as Harley Quinn and the Joker, respectively. Ficarra and Requa confirmed that a script was finished in 2018 (via Metro), but pointed out that they were not sure where the movie would fit in “the queue of DC movies.” The duo also noted that Warner Bros. was working on Todd Phillips’ Joker and Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey. Ficarra and Requa hoped that Birds of Prey could be followed by their film, which never happened.
Ficarra and Requa’s Harley Quinn vs. The Joker movie was not the only Joker-centered Suicide Squad spinoff Warner Bros. was developing. A solo Jared Leto Joker movie building up from Suicide Squad was reported to be in the works in June 2018, just a few months before Todd Phillips’ Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix begin filming. Not much was known about the planned Jared Leto Joker movie, and no writers or directors were ever officially attached to the project. No updates followed the original report by THR, and Jared Leto would only reprise his role as the Joker in 2021 for Zack Snyder’s Justice League additional scenes.
Why It's Good Jared Leto's Joker Movies Were Canceled The Harley Quinn vs. The Joker film and the reported Jared Leto Joker solo movie were just two examples of how confusing the DCEU’s future was after Suicide Squad’s poor reviews and Justice League’s box office failure. On one hand, the franchise had big names such as Margot Robbie and Viola Davis attached to major characters. On the other hand, any attempt of connecting new films to Suicide Squad or Justice League risked hurting their box offices. Had Suicide Squad been better received, spin-offs like Harley Quinn vs. The Joker would have made more sense.


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