What in the hell is going on in the DC/WB world?! Not a week goes by without a story of one of the upcoming films being in trouble, changing directors, script re-writes, casting issues or just you know, making sub par films (not including Wonder Woman, that was fantastic!). The last few days have seen even more ‘rumours’ about the future of the DCEU and not all of them make sense! Before I get into it I am aware that almost all of this is rumour and hasn’t been confirmed but that aside, it makes for some frustrating reading.
Let’s start with something many people predicted. A Joker & Harley Quinn film is reportedly in the works and will star Jared Leto and Margot Robbie. You can read the Hollywood Reporter article HERE .This isn’t surprising considering the popularity of Robbie’s character in Suicide Squad and the warm reception the incredibly intimidating and creepy Joker received. The movie will apparently come after Suicide Squad 2 and is described as being an ‘insane and twisted love story’ (well duh!). Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Crazy, Stupid, Love) will be directing but there is no word yet as to when the film will be set. Will it be a prequel to Suicide Squad, fleshing out the origin of Harley we have briefly seen or maybe it will see the pair during the Joker’s reign of terror in Gotham.
This film on it’s own wouldn’t be confusing but let’s look around the project for a minute. There is a rumour the Joker/Harley film will be replacing the recently announced Gotham City Sirens film. If that is the case I think it is a bad move. If Batman related stories are going to be the basis of many future films then personally I would like to see his film rogue’s gallery expanded. Bringing Poison Ivy and Catwoman into the current DCEU would be brilliant and give much needed context to the Bat-verse WB are trying to establish. Yes I know these character have been seen in Bat films before but not in the current canon. We know that a Nightwing and Batgirl films are in the works so why not bring in more villains as well?! It’s lazy if you ask me.
My frustrations were only compounded by another announcement; a stand alone Joker movie set outside of the main DCEU…….let that sit for a while…..yes, it sounds great at first to get a Joker film but then you register it’s going to be under a different DC label and not constrained by current continuity. So let me get this right, there are two Joker films in development that aren’t connected to each other…what?!! The film will have a new actor sporting the smile and will reportedly be set in the 1980s, most likely focusing on an origin of the character. Part of the appeal of the Joker is that you don’t know his origin, it makes him a mystery and unpredictable. Giving us an origin may nerf him a bit.
Apparently Warner Bros want to differentiate themselves from the competition by having DC films under a different label that aren’t connected to the current universe, enabling them to explore characters and stories that wouldn’t fit into the DCEU. I can see what they are going for here but I think it is far too soon for something like this. The studio should put their efforts into the current crop of announced films and get them right! Too many mistakes have been made already. We have at least 6 or 7 films in development already that will flesh out the DCEU so why is there talk already of branching off?!?! It confuses me but on the plus side as the films wouldn’t have to link to any others it could mean we could get proper interpretations of certain comic stories that would usually be left to animated adventures, and actors could be interchangeable rather than being fixed into a multi picture deal. I’m trying to see the good in this!
What doesn’t help things is people on the internet (myself included) jumping to conclusions when little snippets of interviews or articles go viral. The most recent of which has been all about Matt Reeve’s solo Batman film. Earlier in the week an interview Reeves recorded prior to SDCC was being banded around the net in which he said the following;
“[I have]a vision for a way to do something with that character that at least feels like it resonates with me personally and a perspective that can grow outward into other things but is really about –but when they approached me, what they said was, ‘look, it’s a standalone, this isn’t part of the extended universe.’“
Naturally everyone went mental at this, Reeves seemingly confirmed the Batman film would not be part of the DCEU and with the recent rumours that Affleck wanted out of the role people were making the assumptions that a new actor would be brought in.
After things calmed down a bit, Matt Reves confirmed via some very shocked sounding tweets that his film WILL be part of the DCEU;
“In my comments from a while back about not being part of the DCEU, I was talking about The Batman being a story specifically about Batman… …not about the others in the Universe. That it wouldn’t be filled with cameos servicing other stories — that it would be a BATMAN story.”
Many people expressed a sigh of relief but these events have left a bad taste in many fans mouths. If you add in all the issues the solo Flash movie has had, changing directors every month and script rewrites, extensive re-shoots for Justice League and of course the widespread disappointment with 2 of the 4 DCEU films to date, you can’t help but worry. Something has to change, for now we will have to hold onto the awesomeness that is Wonder Woman until WB restore out faith. That’s enough ranting for now, I’ll need my strength for the inevitable DC woe story next week!
What do you think of these developments? Are WB overcompensating or just trying to do too much all at once? Let us know in the comments below.