Joker, the low-budget, gritty take on DC Comics’ most iconic supervillain has performed beyond anyone’s expectations, becoming the highest-grossing R-rated film in history without relying on Batman or a massive CGI budget to get there. The movie has been lauded for showing a never-before-seen side to the Clown Prince of Crime, too, and there are now talks of the pic getting a sequel and maybe even kickstarting its own cinematic universe.
We’ve already told you that Joker 2 may feature appearances from other DC villains and today, we’re hearing from our sources – the same ones who informed us Robert Pattinson had beat out Nicholas Hoult for the role of Batman, Viola Davis was returning for The Suicide Squad and that a Green Lantern show was in development – that none other than Lex Luthor may have a small part to play in the follow-up. Though nothing is set in stone just yet at this early, early stage, it’s being said that the character may initially take on the role of a good guy, helping the police catch Arthur Fleck before eventually revealing his true colors and joining Gotham’s new villain on a mission of mayhem.
This kind of an introduction to Luthor would be similar to the comics, too, where he masqueraded for many years as a respectable businessman and friend to the police before being unmasked by Superman. Also in the comics, Joker and Luthor have teamed up frequently to combine forces against their archenemies, Batman and Superman, though Luthor rarely trusts Joker any more than he has to, being well-aware of Mr. J’s unpredictable nature and his general willingness to murder an ally just as cheerfully as an enemy.
If Luthor does appear in the movie, it would be the first step to him getting his own standalone flick, something that’s been teased for some time now. The big question, of course, is who would play Lex in the Jokerverse. From all accounts, Jesse Eisenberg is done with the role, but Bryan Cranston has been rumored to be one of the frontrunners for the Luthor standalone feature for a while, so perhaps WB could get the former Breaking Bad star on board.
In any case, it’ll certainly be interesting to see Lex’s icy, measured intellect match up against the Joker‘s wild and chaotic method of operation. And who knows, the success of these first few films might eventually lead us to a Legion of Doom movie?