This week comic book movie fans received quite the shock as DC announced plans for not one but TWO Joker centric films. The clown prince of crime has long been a fan favorite at conventions and his female counterpart, Harley Quinn, is among the most cosplayed characters in fiction. Despite the characters’ popularity, it’s quite baffling to think that films focused on the Joker and Harley are a good idea. Instead, take a look at four films that Warner Bros. and DC could turn into real gems.
Blue Beetle and Booster Gold
A young but brilliant graduate student Theodore Kord has just invented the means of propulsion without the use of fossil fuel consumption. His invention leads to patents and riches beyond his wildest dreams; along with an upstart tech company that looks to eventually rival even Wayne Industries. At the end of Ted’s first day at Kord Enterprises a mysterious man clad in gold armor suddenly appears in his office. The man introduces himself as Booster Gold; a superhero from the future. Booster Gold warns Ted of an upcoming threat that requires him to immediately become the Blue Beetle, a superhero Kord would have become years later.
Blue Beetle and Booster Gold are among DC’s funnest superheroes. The two heroes have great chemistry and often provide comedic relief. The DCEU and WB can use a film that is drastically lighter than the dark Snyder-verse they’re currently stuck with. This film can be used as a vehicle as a shift in tone for the DCEU that doesn’t star any heroes already introduced. A film was previously announced but the movie is no longer on DC’s board and no reports on its progress have surfaced for almost a year. A 21 Jump street esque film directed by Lord and Miller could be the positive jumpstart needed to bring the DCEU back into a positive light; both critically and tonally.
A young boy known as Oliver Queen is one of Bruce Wayne’s only friends. On an outing with the Wayne family, young Queen is kidnapped by criminals targeting Bruce Wayne. Oliver’s parents, Robert and Moira are no millionaires but the Wayne’s are more than willing to pay the ransom for Oliver’s return. After realizing their mistake, the criminals sell the boy to League of Assassin’s exile, Malcolm Merlyn. Merlyn takes Oliver to the island of Lian Yiu and trains him as his successor as a tool to help take down the League of Assassins. Queen never forgets his family and when given the chance escapes the island and Merlyn’s grasp. When Queen returns home as a young adult Bruce Wayne discovers the skills he has developed. Wayne funds Queen with armor and weapons to help fight the war on crime in his own city as the Arrow.
This film could go one of two ways; first as an origin with a young Queen and Wayne that gives insight into this universe’s Arrow and Batman. Alternatively, the pitch given can simply be the introduction for an aged Arrow that has renounced Batman due to Wayne’s extreme methods as of late. In the latter film, an actor like Matt Damon, someone who has good chemistry and ties to Affleck as Batman could play Queen as well as anyone. This film expands the dark vigilante slate of films that DC seems to be pushing while cashing in on fans from the TV shows weakening fanbase.
Deadshot is coerced by Amanda Waller to assassinate a no-name international terrorist as part of her Suicide Squad initiative. The unbeknownst to her and Deadshot the terrorist causing trouble has been doing so under the direction of infamous mercenary and assassin Deathstroke. Deathstroke has set up this unwitting character to lure Deadshot out of prison and into his crosshairs. Deadshot pulls off an amazing shot to kill the terrorist but is quickly intercepted by Deathstroke. Deadshot struggles to escape from perhaps the only assassin better than himself. A game of cat and mouse ensues as Deathstroke chases his down his target relentlessly.
This film would be an opportunity to give Will Smith’s Deadshot the solo debut he so deserves. There were many things wrong with David Ayer’s Suicide Squad but Will Smith’s performance was not one of them. A John Wick-esque assassin vs. assassin film is exactly what audiences are into right now. This also allows Deathstroke to enter the DCEU here instead of the Batman film. In turn, Batman can square off against one of his more traditional villains.
John Constantine is everyone’s favorite self destructive yet brilliant sorcerer. His childhood was spent on the run from evil magical families and dangerous cults. His adulthood is spent using his formidable sorcerery as cheap tricks to scam for money, cigarettes, and booze. Constantine discovers a plot surrounding demons hunting earth sorcerer’s. After dispatching of his demon assassin, Constantine runs into famous show magician Zatanna and enlists her help in uncovering the rest of this demonic plan.
Matt Ryan’s turn as Constantine on NBC was short lived despite the fan support. NBC never really gave the show a chance to shine but the DCEU can rectify that with a solo film featuring the TV actor. This film can be an introduction to several characters that are supposedly appearing in the announced Justice League Dark film. A Constantine movie can draw off of the success of Marvel’s Doctor Strange and the announced Hellboy remake. This gives the DC an opportunity to explore an area of comic book films that Marvel has yet to truly tap into.
Ultimately, DC and Warner Brothers will never read this and if they do they don’t care what some lowly blog writer thinks about their franchise. All I know is that more of Jared Leto’s Joker in film is not good for fans.
What are some DC films you’d like to see made before the madness that is the Joker?