DC Whispers: Holiday Surprise, A Non-Tatted Harley Quinn, And Those THE FLASH Rumors
If you’re a fan of DC on film, then chances are you’re focused almost exclusively on the impending arrival of James Wan’s epic-looking Aquaman later this month. But that’s not to say that there haven’t been some other interesting DC nuggets floating around, for those of you clamoring for as much intel as you can find on your favorite properties. And since things have been admittedly quiet on the hard news front, due to the fact that WB/DC is busy preparing for Aquaman and deciding what lessons it’ll learn from its success or failure, I figured I’d share these tidbits right here to keep your imagination busy while you wait.
Last week, over on the twittuh, I posted this:
Hearing whispers that #DC will give us one last gift before the holiday break at the end of December. No idea what it is, big or small. Could be a trailer, or an announcement.
Regardless, they’re gonna throw us one more bone before the New Year.
Keep those eyes peeled.
— Mario-F. Robles (@I_Am_MFR) November 29, 2018
Essentially, I’m hearing that the studio wants to capitalize on all of the goodwill that Aquaman is amidst generating for the DC Entertainment brand by releasing something cool before the holiday break. And in case you don’t know this, by “break,” i mean a literal vacation. Yes, Hollywood itself goes on vacation around Christmas, which may sound funny, but it’s true. You’d be lucky to hear of any news breaking during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and even the first weeks in January are usually pretty quiet.
But yes, I’ve been told that before the studios go underground for the holidays, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment have one parting gift for us.
My source wouldn’t reveal anything beyond that, but considering it was framed as a way to build on Aquaman‘s momentum, I think it has to be movie-related. And no, it wasn’t that Blue Beetle news that arrived shortly after I tweeted that. That’s just another of DC’s infamous “in-development” movies, and The Wrap’s report was based on sources. What we’re getting is something much more official- either an announcement directly from DC (via DC Daily, perhaps), or a new trailer for…something.
And now let’s speculate on what that “something” could be, shall we?
With three films currently in some stage of production, that would make our lead candidates for a new trailer either Shazam!, Joker, or Wonder Woman 1984.
My money is on Shazam! or Joker. Why? Because those are their two 2019 releases and, therefore, the ones in most urgent need of hype. David F. Sandberg’s Shazam!, in particular, is coming out on April 5. That’s just over four months from Aquaman‘s arrival on December 21, and we’ve only seen one trailer so far.
And if recent rumors are to be believed, we’ll be getting a new Shazam! trailer this Sunday during CCXP in Brazil. It’s yet to be confirmed, but the rumor mill has been on fire as of late that star Zachary Levi will unveil it at the con. If that happens, then this solves the mystery of “DC’s Holiday Surprise.”
But that doesn’t slam the door shut on Joker either. Remember, the Todd Phillips film has just wrapped. So they’ve got all of their footage, and it’s not a film that’s expected to be very CG-heavy, so it wouldn’t take a ton of time to create a teaser for the low budget DC film.
It’s also less than a year away, arriving on October 4. So one would think it’d be a pretty smart decision to get a quick tease together in time for the Aquaman premiere on December 21, just to start generating some buzz with general audiences- who likely have no clue that Joker is even a thing.
But let’s not be greedy. If the studio’s parting gift for 2018 is a second Shazam! trailer, that’s still pretty great.
Oh, and why aren’t I even considering Wonder Woman 1984? Simple: It doesn’t come out until summer of 2020, so I think the natural moment to begin hyping that film will be at SDCC 2019. It just makes sense. And why start hyping WW84 when no one’s even heard about Joker yet?
Speaking of The Joker…what about his favorite gal, Harley Quinn?
[Update on 1/28/19: If you CLICK HERE you’ll see where Yan decided to go- splitting the difference between Tattooed All Over to Some Key Tattoos.]
Well, we all know that Margot Robbie is set to return as Harleen Quinzel in 2020’s Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). And we also know that the film will emphasize her breaking things off with The Joker and going off on her own to start a new chapter in her life. But based on recent conversations I’ve had with insiders at the studio, I wouldn’t be surprised if it isn’t just The Joker she’s emancipating herself from…but also her tatted-up look from Suicide Squad.
When fans first laid eyes on Joker and Harley in the trailers for David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, one of the consistent critiques they had was about their grimy, tattooed, blinged out looks. They were a far cry from their more traditional appearances from the comics, movies, and TV series fans know these beloved Batman villains from.
And if I’ve learned anything this year, it’s that new DC boss Walter Hamada has a very open mind when it comes to continuity. Following Justice League, Hamada took the reins of DC Entertainment and loosened any and all creative constraints on the studio’s directors. He seems to have adopted a motto of, “Keep what you liked from the older DCEU films, and discard what you didn’t like. Make it yours.” And, as such, I’ve heard that several mock-ups of Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn without tattoos have been floating around WB/DC offices as they prepare to film next month.
So Birds of Prey director Cathy Yan seems to be weighing her options for how Harley will look in the film, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the femme fatale have a different aesthetic next time around.
Oh, and one last thing on this topic: This is more of a gut thing, but I’m getting the sense we may have seen the last of Jared Leto as Joker. At least for now. He’s not expected to physically appear in Birds of Prey or the next Suicide Squad (directed by his old pal James Gunn). Could be wrong about this, but right now…I wouldn’t bank on seeing him again.
Last week, Deadline implied something about The Flash losing momentum. They painted a picture of Ezra Miller’s solo film as the Scarlet Speedster perhaps being on the skids so, naturally, I had to do some digging of my own.
Mind you, I have heard for some time that there’s some uncertainty around the project. But it’s all vague stuff. Some of it stemmed from the decision to go from The Flash to Flashpoint then back to The Flash. Some of it had to do with the film losing Seth Grahame-Smith, then losing his replacement Rick Famuyiwa, and the way the film ended up going from having a first quarter 2018 release date…to having no release date at all. There’s even been murmurs that the studio wasn’t sure about having Miller return- which reminds me of old rumors that Grahame-Smith wasn’t pleased about being forced to have Miller as his Flash, since Zack Snyder cast him without consulting with him.
So yeah, there’s all kinds of weird energy around this film, with even the hiring of John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein to direct The Flash taking a long time to confirm- despite the duo being very publicly linked to the project for quite some time now.
With all that said, I spoke to a source at Warner Bros. who says nothing has changed since the last update on the film. In case you need reminding, it was recently revealed that the film’s production start had shifted from early 2019 to late 2019 to allow for more work to be done on the script while Miller films the next Fantastic Beasts movie. When I asked if there was anything to Deadline’s implication about the film losing steam, my source said:
“Noise. When these other announcements pop up (about delays), people make their own narrative. Flash hasn’t changed. Just needs more time.”
This jibes with Miller’s recent comments to Playboy magazine:
“Nothing is ever certain in this world, but as certain as things get, we’re making a f****** crazy-dope Flash movie. It’s one of my great life dreams, and just the fact that we’re on the way—anyone who knows about Barry Allen knows he may arrive late, very late, but once he gets there, it’s all solved. We have to trust.”
So for the time being, it doesn’t look like there’s anything to worry about when it comes to The Flash. They’re taking their time trying to get it right, and that’s never a bad thing.
If I may freestyle for a second, you’d have to imagine that- more so than with Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Batman, or Superman- they have to make sure this Flash is amazing because, unlike the rest of his Justice League chums, there’s currently already a very popular version of The Flash racing around over on The CW. Grant Gustin has now spent a few seasons, and a couple of crazy crossovers (with Elseworlds starting this week!) gaining a following and becoming The Flash in the eyes of many casual fans. One would think that would ratchet up the pressure for the folks working on his cinematic counterpart. Maybe?
And that does it for the DC Whispers I’ve heard as of late.
Thanks for reading! And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and to keep your browser tuned right here to Revenge of The Fans for your daily geek news, analysis, and reviews.