Ever since Justice League underperformed at the box office back in 2017, it’s become increasingly apparent that the DCEU is going through a period of transition, with various projects being reworked or put on ice while new films emerge in their place. With that in mind, it’s potentially telling that we haven’t heard anything about the planned Joker and Harley Quinn movie in a good few months, lending a degree of plausibility to a new and unverified report that the film has now been canned.
The rumor comes by way of a Harley Quinn fan site, and as with all such hearsay, it should be taken with the usual pinch of salt. Still, even if this report is little more than one fan’s guess, it wouldn’t come across as particularly surprising if the claim turned out to be true regardless. For one thing, Harley has enough on her plate already with the upcoming Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), the very name of which practically announces writer Christina Hodson’s intention to get Margot Robbie’s character out from under the shadow of the Joker.
Speaking of which, a tense history between Jared Leto and Suicide Squad 2 scribe James Gunn has fueled speculation that the Joker won’t be involved in the upcoming sequel. Add that to Leto’s reported discontent about the Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie and his planned run as Morbius in Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters and it’s starting to look like the actor might be exiting from the role completely.
Of course, none of this is confirmed as of yet, and for all we know, news of the Joker and Harley Quinn movie could be just around the corner. Still, when Birds of Prey hits theaters on February 7th, 2020, it certainly looks like Warner plans to make a case for Harley as an entertaining character in her own right, rather than a sidekick to Batman’s most famous adversary.