Todd Phillips’ Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix is now out in cinemas. The film is exceptional — heartbreaking and beautiful, disturbing yet ponderous. The film is destined to be considered a modern-day classic. Not only that, it’s also a massive hit at the box office, one that grossed over $US 234 million worldwide in its opening weekend, a staggering number in its own right, but even more so when you consider its R-rating.
However, the film has also left a lot of people, particularly casual movie fans a little confused. A lot of my friends have texted me and asked if the film connects to the DCEU and if Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker is the same one we see in Suicide Squad. The answer is no on both fronts. Todd Phillips Joker is its own standalone thing completely separate from the DCEU that features Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Shazam, etc. And it’s definitely not the same Joker we see in Suicide Squad as played by Jared Leto.
In fact, Jared Leto is rather unhappy that the film even exists in the first place. Per THR:
Tsujihara and Emmerich greenlit Joker, which cost less than $70 million, leaving Jared Leto — who played Joker in Suicide Squad — alienated and upset by the move.
It’s easy to see why Jared Leto is upset. While two actors can play the same character at the same time, as long as they exist in different “universes,” it looks like Warner Bros/DC is trying to move away from Jared Leto’s version altogether. Last time this year, Leto was set to star in his own Joker standalone film as well as another one with Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. These movies would have been set in the DCEU. However, since then Warner Bros/DC have made major changes to their slate.
Both of the Jared Leto Joker projects have been cut from Warner Bros’ slate of DC projects and Suicide Squad itself is set for a soft reboot, this time helmed by James Gunn. As of now, Gunn hasn’t mentioned any plans to bring back Jared Leto’s Joker into his reboot, simply titled The Suicide Squad.
A few months ago, Jared Leto told Variety, that he’s unsure if there’s a place for him and his version of the character in the DCEU movie forward. “I don’t think so. You’d have to ask them [Warner Bros],” said Leto. But the Oscar winner also made it clear that he is still interested in playing the character. “I would definitely play the Joker again. It all depends on the script and the circumstances as it always does.”