Why the DCEU Is Leaning So Hard Into Its Villains

Harley Quinn and Joker

With the news that Joaquin Phoenix is in talks to become perhaps the most iconic comic book villain in history, the Joker, it appears that Warner Bros. is committed to the origin story. Set outside of the main continuity commonly referred to as the DC Extended Universe, the Joker movie is said to be the first project to be created within a new DC Comics banner from the studio. At one point in time, Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio was rumored to play the Clown Prince of Crime, so there's a good chance of more twists and turns in terms of casting -- either way, it's clear that Warner Bros. wants to capitalize on the rich library of antagonists that DC Comics has built up over the years.

RELATED: Joaquin Phoenix in Talks For Joker Origin Movie

The studio has already had an outing for a collection of popular villains in Suicide Squad, marking the first big-screen adaptations of characters such as Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang and more. While the movie wasn't critically popular, it made a sizable $746.8 million in the worldwide box office, proving there's definitely an audience for villain-centric films. So, let's look at why Warner Bros. is banking on its baddies.

What's in the works?

Just how many villain-led movies are reportedly in the works from Warner Bros.? There's Deathstroke starring Joe Manganiello as the deadly assassin, multiple Harley Quinn movies starring the ever-popular Margot Robbie, a solo Black Adam flick starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Suicide Squad 2 featuring the usual suspects (and potentially Johnson's anti-hero), and, of course, the Joker origin movie that's set in the 1980s. There's also rumor of another ensemble film comprised of bad guys: Legion of Doom.

RELATED: Harley Quinn & Joker Are the Future of the DCEU

It's been reported that the studio is looking to slowly build up the roster in solo movies of superheroes, such as the post-credits scene for Justice League that saw Lex Luthor and Deathstroke join forces. Other villains that could join the fold are likely to be introduced in upcoming movies such as AquamanShazam! and the Wonder Woman sequel. If it comes into fruition, which doesn't seem too outlandish, then the team of supervillains would be brought together much like Marvel Studios' Avengers -- which can only be a good thing.

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