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We Will Apparently Be Spared a Jared Leto Joker Film & Joker/Harley Romance

Some good news from DC this morning.

Jared Leto and Ike Barinholtz in Suicide Squad (2016)

DC keeps making a variety of course changes as they try to right their ship. While I’ve theorized that could mean soft rebooting the franchise, a recent Forbes article with a lot more insider knowledge than I currently have has pointed to DC’s upcoming slate and more accurately combed through to figure out what’s in development and what is falling by the wayside.

Goodbye, hopes of another Cavill Superman venture (it looks like Supergirl might take that mantle), but hello to movement on the New Gods and Green Lantern Corps front.

More importantly, it seems as though Jared Leto’s Joker is going, going, and gone. Forbes writer Mark Hughes writes of Suicide Squad’s sequel,

“The Suicide Squad sequel, meanwhile, is moving forward as a sort of soft reboot to some extent, and is expected to have a new cast of characters and avoid direct tie-in to the first film’s events. Harley Quinn is not expected to return, and James Gunn’s script will be a new approach and rethinking of the property. The Mad Love-type Joker and Harley Quinn film has also fallen by the wayside, as has the solo Joker project for Jared Leto’s version of the character from Suicide Squad.”

Harley will still make a splash in Birds of Prey, so there’s no need to worry about the fan favorite disappearing from the universe. Leto’s take on the Joker, on the other hand? It’s seeming unlikely that we’ll ever see that version of the Joker again, which is probably best for all parties involved.

Let’s remember how Leto mailed his costars “used” condoms and bullets while in character on the set of Suicide Squad. That behavior is fairly unacceptable and crosses several lines of professionalism and just generally not being a creep. Leto’s performance and look as the character were also not generally well received by either fans or critics, and while Harley Quinn became an instant icon, Leto’s Joker didn’t receive the same treatment.

With a Joaquin Phoenix Joker standalone movie coming out this year, there isn’t room in this town for two Jokers running around. While Phoenix’s turn might not be in the wider DCEU, that’s still a lot of Joker going on. With Matt Reeves’s The Batman not coming out until 2020, we don’t really need the Joker without his nemesis.

More importantly, the Joker/Harley film will be tabled, and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Harley and Joker work well when the abusive nature of their relationship isn’t brushed over. More recent comic incarnations have shown Harley realizing that the Joker is an abusive monster, dumping him, and running off to live a far more happy life with Poison Ivy.

While the Joker/Harley film could have been that, it also very well could have been a toxic example of relationships in which the Joker’s behavior was excused because he’s a twisted villain, and the narrative forced Harley to stay with him.

When it comes to possible DC projects, the Leto-led Joker film and the Joker/Harley film weren’t exactly topping anyone’s list of most anticipated films. With other projects moving forward, it’s time to accept that we might see a Joker-less DCEU for the time being, which might be for the best. Let some other villains, and Harley, shine for a while.

(via Forbes, image: Warner Bros.)

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Kate (she/her) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions she has. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, she is now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for her favorite rare pairs.