Back in August, we heard that a movie about the origin of iconic DC Comics villain The Joker was on its way from director Todd Phillips. A new actor is to be cast in the solo movie, rather than Jared Leto, who played the character in Suicide Squad (above) and is on tap to reprise the role in the sequel, as well as a Harley Quinn spinoff starring Margot Robbie.
As a result of these reports, many questions were raised about the future of the so-called DC Extended Universe, a term that has been applied to superpowered movies from Warner Bros. and DC, starting with 2013’s Man of Steel. Similar to Marvel’s superhero movies, the idea has been to connect the movies with recurring characters and serial storylines.
Now comes word directly from DC confirming that a new strategy has been forged. In a new interview by Vulture, DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson says: “Our intention, certainly, moving forward is using the continuity to help make sure nothing is diverging in a way that doesn’t make sense, but there’s no insistence upon an overall story line or interconnectivity in that universe.”
The example given is Wonder Woman, which was set in the past and featured only a cursory nod to Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Nelson says: “Moving forward, you’ll see the DC movie universe being a universe, but one that comes from the heart of the filmmaker who’s creating them.”
Of course, Justice League is already on its way to theaters on November 17 and features a number of superpowered characters, but the idea is that future movies will not be required to connect to every other movie in the DC Extended Universe. So we can expect that strategy to be demonstrated starting with James Wan’s Aquaman, which is scheduled for release on December 21, 2018.
Part of the strategy is to make movies that are stand-alone projects, ones that are not connected at all to the other movies, such as the origin story of The Joker. The movies will be released under a new side label to further distinguish them.
After the name of the new label is announced, perhaps we’ll hear more about their plans. But it won’t surprise us in the least if we have to wait until after Justice League is released to hear any more details.