The final trailer for Birds of Prey dropped yesterday ahead of the movie’s release in less than a month, and it sure seems like a good time. From the looks of things, the next installment of the resurgent DCEU appears to be set to continue the franchise’s recent creative renaissance, with the studio also reportedly now convinced that The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn is set to be a box office hit following the highly-publicized and extensive reshoots that were helmed by John Wick’s Chad Stahelski.
Throughout production, one of the most pressing questions about Birds of Prey was how it would handle the green-haired elephant in the room, namely Jared Leto’s divisive take on the Joker that featured in Suicide Squad. Star and producer Margot Robbie has confirmed that the Clown Prince of Crime won’t appear in the movie, but that the story will feature Harley dealing with her recent separation from Mr. J.
If that wasn’t enough, there’s rampant speculation that the opening beats of the trailer, which see Harley blowing up the Ace Chemicals plant that’s so closely linked to the Joker’s backstory, are proof that the former Harleen Quinzel doesn’t just split up from her psychotic beau, but straight-up kills him. That’s certainly one way to write Jared Leto out of the DCEU, and fans have now gone online with their opinions on the Joker’s potential death, which you can see below:
OH MY GOD JARED LETO JOKER IS DEAD, HE'S DEAD! I WILL FOREVER CHERISH THIS MOVIE
THANK YOU SO MUCH😭❤ pic.twitter.com/FhKhw13Sa1
— ScottGray (@ScottGray05) January 9, 2020
When the Birds of Prey trailer opened with Harley Quinn straight up murdering Jared Leto's Joker by plowing him into a chemical plant to explode… pic.twitter.com/PNIjfFtJoT
— Meghan O’Keefe (@megsokay) January 9, 2020
— Jeffrey Pawlak (@JeffreyPavs) January 9, 2020
The moment where Warner Brothers kills Jared Leto because Joaquin Phoenix makes the studio 1 billion dollars 😬 #HarleyQuinn #Joker #WarnerBros #JoaquinPhoenix #cinema #dccomics #cinema pic.twitter.com/x0yxYotx72
— Analogue Digital (@TweetAnalogue) January 9, 2020
RIP Jared Leto's Joker. pic.twitter.com/rG6lztavBB
— Emma (@emmatarver92) January 9, 2020
So, lemme get this straight.
Instead of them trying to refine or improve upon Jared Leto's Joker, they just kill him off? Seriously?
Activision Blizzard did better damage control than this.
— CrazySean 🏳️🌈🌊 (@crazyseandx) January 9, 2020
— Sumu (@sumuhardy) January 9, 2020
— Scott Meslow (@scottmeslow) January 9, 2020
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Given his strange behavior on the set of Suicide Squad and the generally negative reception to his performance, it seemed as though the writing has been on the wall for Jared Leto’s Joker for some time. With Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix’s recent take on the iconic villain scoring over a billion dollars at the box office and establishing itself as a serious awards season contender, something Leto was reportedly not happy about, perhaps DC and Warner Bros. simply decided that they don’t need two Jokers running around at the same time. Besides, Harley Quinn seems more than ready to strike out on her own and turn Birds of Prey into the DCEU’s latest franchise.