As recently as three years ago, Jared Leto’s Joker and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn were being positioned as two of the DCEU’s major focal points. Following the disappointing reception to David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, though, Leto’s divisive take on the Clown Prince of Crime was quietly swept under the rug, and while Robbie was one of the few aspects of the movie that received praise, her next project in the franchise, Birds of Prey, bombed at the box office and led to speculation that Harley’s presence in the DCEU might be scaled back in the future.
Obviously, the Australian actress is taking top billing in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, but if his work on the MCU’s Guardians of the Galaxy is any indication, then the soft reboot will very much be an ensemble piece that splits the focus. During the early days of Warner Bros.’ shared universe when the studio announced movie after movie and then did absolutely nothing with them, though, the Joker and Harley Quinn were once set for their own spinoff.
Robbie was going to re-team with her Focus directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa for the project, and the duo were also set to have a hand in writing the script as well as producing the feature. In September 2018, it was confirmed that the first draft was completed, and the idea was to shoot the movie not long after Birds of Prey wrapped. However, the DCEU underwent a major creative overhaul in the interim and Leto’s Joker was essentially written out of the franchise for good. Or so we thought.
Insider Daniel Richtman now claims that WB could be interested in Joker and Harley Quinn once again as the DCEU enjoys a renaissance of sorts. There’s no word on if Leto would be asked to return as the Clown Prince of Crime or if the role would end up being recast as the franchise distances itself from disappointments like Suicide Squad, but it seems as if the studio is exploring the concept a bit further now and as soon as we hear anything more about the project, we’ll be sure to let you know.