Rumor: 'The Batman' Might Be Separate From the DCEU, A Part of Joker Origin Continuity

Matt Reeves's The Batman may share a continuity with Joker, Todd Phillips's Joker origin film starring Joaquin Phoenix, speculates entertainment writer Mark Hughes, who covers DC movies for Forbes.

Saying that the studio is bullish on Joker, which will be produced by Hollywood legend Martin Scorcese, Hughes said that no one has said as much explicitly but that he believed the recently-announced Jared Leto Joker movie would never happen, and that the current version of the villain would only appear in a Suicide Squad sequel or tie-in film, if at all.

“Joaquin Phoenix is playing The Joker in a stand-alone film that will possibly wind up not being stand-alone as the situation evolves with the solo Batman movies and as the future of the DCU shakes up,” Forbes said, adding that he has heard “whispers from several people” that if the movie is a success, the studio is considering folding it into the continuity of The Batman, in order to avoid having to find yet another Joker for the rebooted Batman franchise.

Per Hughes' comments, it appears as though the films were not necessarily developed that way, but that as Warner Bros. has started charting a course for their DC films going forward, the notion of tying their two Gotham-based prequel movies together seemed like an obvious leap to make.

Whether The Batman could be created as part of the same imprint -- rumored to be named "DC Black" or "DC Dark" -- as Joker is anybody's guess at this point. If the studio becomes more enthusiastic about carrying the continuity over, one must even wonder whether the "Black" label would apply at all.


Even by his own admission -- Hughes stressed this -- this is not a done deal or even necessarily the prevailing philosophy at Warner Bros. yet. Things are very much up in the air given the multiple changes to DC's slate, the AT&T/Time Warner merger, and the looming releases of Aquaman and Shazam!, two movies which will have significantly less baggage than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice or Justice League did.

While the idea of a half-dozen or more Batman-related films being in development has baffled fans for months now, this notion -- that depending on quality and studio enthusiasm some of them might not only happen but begin to be tied together -- seems to be the first rumblings of a solid plan for reinventing one of Warner Bros.' biggest franchises.

Justice League is now on home video. The DC Extended Universe continues with Aquaman on December 21st, Shazam! on April 5, 2019, Wonder Woman 2 on November 1, 2019, Cyborg in 2020, and Green Lantern Corps in 2020.