It’s been a busy week for the Bat-verse. We’ve gotten our first peeks at Joaquin Phoenix in Joker makeup, the casting for Birds of Prey has started to take shape and now, we’re getting some details on the Jared Leto and Margot Robbie-starring Joker and Harley Quinn.
Though the pair were hugely popular after Suicide Squad, the film’s critical disappointment together with Warner Bros. getting cold feet on the shared universe idea seems to have put the brakes on a direct sequel to the 2016 movie. And with the studio seemingly constantly reshuffling their superhero slate, many thought that this particular project wasn’t going anywhere, until now.
Writers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (known for Bad Santa and NBC’s This Is Us) have turned in a script that’s apparently inspired by the classic story Mad Love. This was originally a 1994 one-shot comic book in the style of Batman: The Animated Series by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm. It was a huge success, winning the Eisner Award for “Best Single Story” that year and going on to be faithfully adapted into an episode of The New Batman Adventures.
According to Glenn Ficarra, the upcoming spinoff will kickoff with Harley kidnapping Dr. Phil, and from there, things get pretty crazy. Speaking in an interview with Metro, here’s what he shared:
The whole thing starts with Harley kidnapping Dr Phil. Played by Dr Phil hopefully. Because her and the Joker are having problems with their relationship. … It was sort of like, we wrote ‘Bad Santa’ a couple of years ago, and it was that sensibility mixed with our ‘This Is Us’ sensibility. We kind of meshed them together. We were doing a relationship movie but with the sensibility of a ‘Bad Santa,’ f***ed up, mentally deranged people. It was a lot of fun.”
As for when we may see the project take flight, well, according to Requa, a script’s been handed in, but he’s unsure of when WB will push the film into production.
“I don’t know where it is on the queue of DC movies. We handed the script in and everybody loved it. But I don’t know when they are going to do it. Because I know that they want to do ‘Birds Of Prey’ and they want to do Todd’s ‘Joker’ film first. Maybe if ‘Birds Of Prey’ goes well ours will be next.”
So, it sounds like it could be quite a while before we get to see Leto and Robbie step back into the roles that launched a thousand Hot Topic T-shirts, but make no mistake about it, Joker and Harley Quinn is very much alive and with a script now completed, hopefully the project will begin to pick up some steam.