We may already know who the next big-screen Clown Prince of Crime and the first big-screen Harley Quinn are.
It might seem risky, even foolish, to bring the Joker back to the screen again after Heath Ledger's Oscar-winning take on the character in 2008's The Dark Knight, but hey, we live in an age of reboots. Plus, Warner Bros. is building a massive new superhero universe with the characters of DC Comics, and it would seem a little lonely without Mr. J along for the ride. So let's agree that it makes sense for the Joker to come back, but who do you get to play him? You have to get someone who can somehow both follow Jack Nicholson and Ledger and deliver his own distinct take.
According to insiders, Warner Bros. was initially after Drive star Ryan Gosling for the role, but Gosling was unwilling to take on a multifilm deal. Now, according to The Wrap, Academy Award-winner Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) is "circling" the Joker, who would reportedly first appear in Warner Bros.' 2016 Suicide Squad flick.
We've heard Leto's name a lot lately when discussing superhero movies. For a while, he was apparently after the title role in Marvel's Doctor Strange, but The Wrap notes that Marvel was seeking a somewhat bigger star for that part, leading them to the (still-uncomfirmed) choice of Benedict Cumberbatch. So Leto crossed the street for a DC Comics role, and if this report is true, he's landed one of the most iconic characters in the company's stable.
The Joker wasn't even in Suicide Squad in early drafts of the script, but director David Ayer (Fury) is reportedly tackling rewrites of the flick himself, and rumor has it he wants to add the Joker. With no solo Batman film officially on Warners' massive DC-based slate thus far, Suicide Squad seems as good a place as any to drop the character in, particularly since that film will also reportedly feature his gal pal, Harley Quinn. Which brings us to ...
Collider reported last night that Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street) is on board the Suicide Squad flick to play Harley, making her the first actress ever to portray the character on the big screen. Robbie's name first came up in association with Suicide Squad last month, when reports surfaced that she was up for an unspecified role in the film alongside Will Smith and Tom Hardy. Model and actress Cara Delevingne's name has also been tied to the role, but for the moment it seems Robbie's won out.
So, we've got a Joker and a Harley Quinn, both reportedly set to join the new DC Movie Universe in 2016. How will they do? Robbie certainly looks the part of Harley, and The Wolf of Wall Street was a great showcase of her ability to jump from comedy to drama to pure sex appeal, often in the space of the same scene. As for Leto, we know he's talented, and we know from work like Dallas Buyers Club that he can disappear into a character. Even if we weren't intrigued by this choice, though ... come on, we're not really going to make the mistake of condemning a Joker casting choice before he's even put the makeup on again, are we? We learned our lesson.
Suicide Squad hits theaters in 2016. What do you think of these casting choices?