WB is going hog-wild on developing Joker movies right now. Among the projects currently in the works: a crime/romance movie starring Jared Leto's Joker and Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn. We'd previously thought that project had been put on the backburner, but writer/directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa provided an update to Metro this week suggesting that no, it's still a thing. Kind of.
For all our dragging of WB's apparent Joker fixation, Ficarra and Requa are an interesting pair to put on the job, especially for a relationship movie like this. The pair wrote Bad Santa, wrote and directed I Love You Phillip Morris, and executive-produced and directed a bunch of This Is Us. They've got experience writing relationships, fucked-up characters, and relationships between fucked-up characters.
So it's not thaaaat surprising that Ficarra describes the film as "a relationship movie but with the sensibility of a Bad Santa, f***ed up, mentally deranged people." Apparently, the pair had an enormous amount of fun writing the film, which "starts with Harley kidnapping Dr Phil. Played by Dr Phil hopefully. Because her and the Joker are having problems with their relationship.”
"Problems" is right, given the fundamentally abusive nature of the relationship.
Requa also noted that they're unsure where their film sits "on the queue of DC movies," which is a fair point. For reference, the current tally of announced Joker and/or Harley movies stands as follows:
- Todd Phillips' and Joaquin Phoenix's King of Comedy-esque Joker film, which is currently shooting and does not connect to the DCEU;
- Ficarra and Requa's Joker/Harley relationship movie, which has some semblance of a script and does connect to the DCEU;
- Birds of Prey, to be helmed by Cathy Yan, which teams Harley with a host of other female DC characters;
- Jared Leto's Joker standalone movie, which as far as we know exists only as an announcement;
- Joker, Smoker, Midnight Toker, which places the Clown Prince at the centre of the fight against Big Tobacco, merging the DCEU with the The Insider Cinematic Universe; and
- Park Chan-Wook's 2013 thriller Stoker, which WB is retconning into DCEU continuity by changing thousands of Blu-Ray covers with a Sharpie.
At this point, only Phillips' film seems guaranteed to see the light of day. There are so many of these projects in development right now that it wouldn't be surprising to see one film's success or failure absolutely dictate the fate of the rest.
Which Joker movie are you most excited for? All of them? Any of them? For our part, we just wish WB would get its slate straight. This stuff is hard to keep track of.