Johnny Depp has been rumored for the Joker throughout most of his career. Prior to Heath Ledger being announced as The Dark Knight‘s Clown Prince of Crime, Depp was a fan favorite for the part (along with Adrian Brody). Now, it seems like this decades-old bit of fan casting might finally bear fruit, as sources close to WGTC – the same ones who said Viola Davis would return for The Suicide Squad and Transformers is being rebooted – have told us that Warner Bros. have begun eyeing actors for the role in sequels to The Batman and Depp is one of the prime candidates for the Joker.
The fact that he’s even being considered for the part is perhaps a sign that his recent career troubles might be coming to an end. The long and acrimonious legal battle with Amber Heard was recently flipped on its head after an audio recording emerged that appeared to corroborate Depp’s side of the story. Given his previous performances, the eccentric Joker would seem like a natural fit for him. Perhaps we might even see some combination of the villainy of Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts movies combined with the wild unpredictability of Jack Sparrow?
Whatever the case, it seems like the 2020s is set to be the decade of the Joker. WB is reportedly pressing ahead with sequels to Todd Phillips’ origin film, creating what’s being dubbed the ‘Jokerverse.’ The follow-ups may see Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck battling for supremacy against a rival Joker (with The Punisher‘s Ben Barnes apparently eyed for the part). Beyond that, Warner Bros. will want to get a sequel to The Batman going as soon as possible, so expect to see a different version of Mr. J in that movie (probably in 2024).
It’s strange to think that it’s been more than ten years since we witnessed the Caped Crusader square off against the Joker on screen. The closest we got was the Harley Quinn flashback scene in Suicide Squad where Ben Affleck’s Batman pursues Jared Leto’s Clown Prince of Crime in the Batmobile, but the two characters haven’t actually shared a live-action scene since The Dark Knight. As such, I think it’s about damn time we brought the most famous hero and villain pairing in superhero history back and seeing Depp square off against Pattinson would certainly be exciting.
We’ll stress, though, that the Pirates of the Caribbean star is just one actor being eyed and our sources have confirmed that there are at least several others. Who they may be, we don’t yet know (the aforementioned Barnes was thought to be one, though apparently he’s being eyed for the Jokerverse instead), but given that these are the same sources who also told us Disney is making an Aladdin sequel and that Han would return to the Fast & Furious franchise, we’ve no reason to doubt them.