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Everything you need to know about Warner Bros.’ biggest DC announcements this week

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A stand-alone Joker movie is just the beginning

Joker (center) and Harley Quinn (R) in Suicide Squad Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. has turned this week into one of the most exciting for fans of its DC universe. Or, if not exciting, agitating.

Over the past few days, the studio has made a number of announcements about its upcoming projects. Reports appeared on Tuesday saying that Warner Bros. was working on a stand-alone Joker origin movie that would have nothing to do with the rest of the DC cinematic universe. Then, a report from The Hollywood Reporter claimed that Suicide Squad 2 was being fast-tracked to meet an earlier release date. Even the Harley Quinn spinoff, which will focus on the chaotic relationship between the deranged accomplice and the Joker, got an intriguing update.

It can be difficult to keep up with every little piece of information that comes out, so we collected the most important news from the week and bundled it into this little package.

The Joker movie

The biggest news out of the Warner Bros. camp is that Martin Scorsese and Todd Phillips (The Hangover) are working on a stand-alone Joker movie. The film will have nothing to do with the main DC universe franchise, meaning that Jared Leto will not play the psychotic clown. Instead, a younger actor will be brought on board, expanding the ever growing list of talent who want to step into the depraved mind of cinema’s most terrifying villain.

Based on reports, we know the Joker movie will be more crime-noir and less superhero focused. Scorsese and Phillips will set the movie in early ‘80s Gotham, but the fictional world where Batman and his rogues gallery live will be more akin to a pre-Giuliani era New York City. Expect this to be more like Taxi Driver or Raging Bull than The Dark Knight. God help us all if it’s more like The Hangover than anything else.

What does this mean for everyone’s favorite (or least favorite) Joker, Jared Leto? Leto isn’t going anywhere. The actor will reprise his role in two upcoming DC films: Suicide Squad 2 and the Harley Quinn spinoff. Speaking of ...

Suicide Squad 2 is being fast-tracked

Warner Bros.’ big plans for stand-alone, spinoff Batman movies are good news for everyone involved in Suicide Squad 2. The Hollywood Reporter claims that Warner Bros. wants to release the Harley Quinn spinoff movie after Suicide Squad 2 is released and is fast-tracking development on the sequel. The studio has to work within the confines of actors’ holding agreements (the amount of time an actor is contractually obligated to remain attached to a project).

Suicide Squad 2 is reportedly set to premiere in 2019, but an official release date hasn’t been confirmed by the studio. If it is on the path to being fast-tracked, with Warner Bros. tapping potential directors for the project, Suicide Squad 2 could hit theaters at an earlier date.

Harley Quinn spinoff will be like “When Harry Met Sally on benzedrine”

The most fascinating details to emerge from Warner Bros. this week are in a Hollywood Reporter story about Margot Robbie and Jared Leto’s Harley Quinn spinoff. The movie will be directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, best known for their NBC series This is Us and the 2011 movie Crazy, Stupid, Love.

According to a Hollywood Reporter source, the spinoff will be “an insane and twisted love story. When Harry Met Sally on benzedrine.” Much of this doesn’t make sense. When Harry Met Sally is a story about a man and a woman who develop a close friendship before realizing they’re harboring feelings for each other. The titular characters, played by Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, try to play down their feelings for each other and move on, but wind up together in the end.

Although the Harley Quinn spinoff may not tie into the main DC universe, with Robbie and Leto reprising their roles, some continuity has to be acknowledged. Their relationship isn’t one that’s based off years of friendship and turns into an adoring love for the other person. They’re not going to walk through a dog park and hold hands, smiling shyly at each other. Harley Quinn and the Joker’s relationship is an abusive one. Harley Quinn literally went insane trying to garner the attention of the Joker, becoming so infatuated with the idea of him that she in turn became his slave.

Even on benzedrine, that’s not even close to the premise of what When Harry Met Sally aspired to be.

The Harley Quinn spinoff doesn’t have a release date yet, but with Suicide Squad 2 being fast-tracked, expect to hear more about this project soon.

So why are all these Warner Bros. announcements coming out this week? There are a couple of assumptions I can make based on how studios work, but I don’t have any proof to back it up — so I won’t. Let’s just say that if there isn’t a monumental piece of Batman news in the coming weeks, I’ll be very surprised.

Warner Bros.’ next DC movie, Justice League, will be released on Nov. 17.