Warner Bros. and the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) announced, shuffled, and was subjected to a handful of rumors this week. Let’s break it all down.
The Joke’s on The Joker
There’s no denying the Joker’s on screen potential. His relationship with Batman is rich and storied. This provides ample material to explore across Batman’s films. All these fascinating aspects of the character stem from his relationship with Batman. Removed from that, he’s merely a Tyler Durden-esque stand-in for anarchy that college students learn the wrong lessons from. So, Warner Bros. announced a standalone Joker film produced by Martin Scorsese. Although, Jared Leto is not reprising his role in this iteration.
But that’s not all! Warner Bros. also announced a Joker/Harley Quinn film. That isn’t exactly news. A solo Harley Quinn feature with the Joker was announced after the financial success of Suicide Squad. However, Jared Leto IS reprising his role as the Joker in that film. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Crazy Stupid Love, This Is Us) are helming the film. The duo isn’t strangers to love stories, so fans can expect an emotional take on the characters. However, they are unproven action directors. Also, the film is replacing Gotham City Sirens on the DCEU schedule.
Is Batman In Or Out?
Also this week, The Batman was on the receiving end of fan speculation. Director Matt Reeves implied his upcoming Batman film is not part of the DCEU. During an interview with KCRW, Reeves said the following:
“Well I have a vision for a way to do something with that character that feels like it resonates with me personally, and a perspective that can grow out into other things. When they approached me, what they said was ‘look, it’s a standalone, it’s not part of the extended universe.’”
Later, Reeves clarified the quote on Twitter. He brought mentioned The Batman is certainly part of the DCEU, it simply won’t feature the larger cinematic universe building and cameos associated with a shared universe. Click on the embedded tweet to see his full response!
Jeez, what’d I miss, guys…? ?
Just to be clear: Of COURSE Batman will be part of the D.C. Universe. Batman will be BATMAN…
— Matt Reeves (@mattreevesLA) August 24, 2017
The DCEU’s Continued Woes
Certainly, none of this is negative press. However, the DCEU’s major creative players keep talking over each other. This seems like nobody is communicating at Warner Bros. Wonder Woman is the DCEU’s first success, and it restored hope for these properties in a lot of fans. But, the perceived lack of cohesion across the upcoming slate confuses fans. Soon, they will see diminishing returns on these properties.
Also, the studio has not addressed the recent controversy surrounding Joss Whedon. In the wake of Zack Snyder’s family tragedy, Whedon became a major player in the DCEU. However, a recent article penned by Whedon’s ex-wife casts an unflattering light on fandom’s reigning king. Of course, this is out of the studio’s control, but it could potentially hurt the upcoming Batgirl and Justice League films. Time will tell if the DCEU truly has legs. But for now, the future is ever changing.