Todd Phillips' 2019 offering Joker is seen as something of an anomaly in the world of comic book movies. With a hard R-rating, a small budget, and no big action scenes in sight, Joker proved superhero movies can be successful outside of the action-adventure genre. According to a Twitter post by DiscussingFilm, Walter Hamada, head of the DC Films division at Warner Bros., is planning to make more movies in the same vein if the concept sounds promising enough.
"Walter Hamada confirms there will be more DC Elseworlds movies such as 'JOKER' if filmmakers deliver strong pitches."
Legend has it that Warner Bros. was extremely pessimistic about Joker's chances when the film was being made. But once Joker made a billion+ dollars at the box office, and won multiple academy and other prestigious awards, the studio scrambled to see what other comic book properties could be developed in the same vein.
To that end, a standalone origin movie about Lex Luthor was rumored to be in development, which was supposed to belong to the same 'villain' cinematic universe as Joker. While no new information has been offered on that front, the announcement of the DCEU multiverse during DC FanDome has opened the doors for just such a franchise to grow within the larger DCEU.
The DCEU multiverse refers to a concept from the comics, where multiple universes all exist in the same space, but at different frequencies. Under special circumstances, characters from one universe can jump into another universe's reality, like the time The Flash from DC films showed up for a cameo in an episode of the Arrowverse's Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline.
But by and large, different universes in the multiverse exist in their own, separate reality. What this means for the DCEU going forward is that movies like Joker, Matt Reeves' The Batman, and Zack Snyder's Justice League will all belong to separate realities with no need for crossovers, but each of those realities will exist with the same Multiverse, and can crossover when and if the filmmakers decide to do so.
Thus, there is no longer any need for one, consistent continuity for the DCEU, and pesky questions like why are both Joaquin Phoenix and Jared Leto playing the Joker can be explained away by stating they both belong to different universes within the multiverse.
For fans, this will allow for DC films with wildly different tones and storylines that no longer have to adhere to a shared storyline. Interestingly, the MCU is also moving in the same direction, with the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opening up the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the possibilities of shared universes.
It now remains to be seen whether Joker was a flash in the pan, or whether Warner Bros. will be able to make more comic book films of the same nature that draw praise for their acting and thematic storylines rather than CGI or action stunts.