Suicide Squad saw the introduction of Batman's arch-nemesis to the DCEU. Jared Leto took the role of the Joker and his performance garnered a mixed response, to say the least. Ever since then, his future in the role has been uncertain. His future was thrown into even further doubt earlier today when Warner Bros. and DC announced that an origin story would be released explaining the beginnings of the Clown Prince of Crime...but it likely won't involve Leto.
#MartinScorsese—yes, you read that right—will be producing this film with The Hangover's Todd Phillips writing the film alongside 8 Mile writer Scott Silver. But perhaps the most head-scratching part of the announcement is that the film will take place outside of the #DCEU. According to Deadline, this will be the first film under a new mystery banner for the studio that will expand the DC canon beyond its film universe and allow the same characters to be played by different actors. The goal, apparently, is to build out the Batman universe as a separate entity from the one already in the DCEU. Well...alright, then.
So far, we've had three big-screen incarnations of the Joker. Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and #JaredLeto have each brought a unique version of the character to life, and they've had varying degrees of success. With this film being set outside of the DCEU, it seems we'll have yet another actor playing the villain.
The other intriguing part of this announcement is Scorsese's involvement. As the setting of the film is reported to be a gritty and grounded crime film set in the 1980s, this should feel quite different than any other DCEU film to date, and seemingly more akin to Scorsese's films of the time such as Taxi Driver. It also indicates that they're leaning into the gangster portrayal of #Joker set by Leto, even though it won't be Leto or the DCEU version of Joker at all.
Whether or not you liked Leto's portrayal, it seems we'll have another version to look forward to very soon; though no release date has been set yet. After Tim Burton's #Batman offered us a glimpse into the character's origins, it seems we may finally have a definitive answer to one of the most asked questions in DC comics - just who is the Joker?