In the last few days, there’s been no shortage of Joker-centric news headlines popping up around the web, most of them dedicated to Joaquin Phoenix and his first appearance in makeup for the upcoming, Todd Phillips-directed Joker origin story. But even while that Joker film moves forward, DC and Warner Bros. are still working on that other Joker movie—the one starring a returning Jared Leto as the version of The Joker first seen in Suicide Squad, flanked by Margot Robbie’s version of Harley Quinn. And boy, does the writers’ description of that movie sound odd.
According to screenwriters Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, best known for writing Bad Santa, the feel of their Joker movie is part raunchy comedy, ‘ala Bad Santa, and part heartstring-tugging drama, as they also wrote in several episodes of NBC’s This Is Us. If it doesn’t really seem to you like those two things fit neatly together, you’re not alone.
“It was sort of like, we wrote Bad Santa a couple of years ago, and it was that sensibility mixed with our This Is Us sensibility,” said Ficarra in an interview with Metro. “We kind of meshed them together. We were doing a relationship movie but with the sensibility of a Bad Santa, f***ed up, mentally deranged people. It was a lot of fun.”
He went on to say a few other things, such as the fact that a first version of the script begins with a scene of Harley Quinn abducting Dr. Phil and forcing him to sort through her and The Joker’s relationship problems. Given that description, it’s little surprise that the internet is already referring to a fusion of Bad Santa and This Is Us as This Is Bad.
However, we have to imagine that this Joker movie will be subject to plenty of change by the time it finally arrives. It’s behind a bit of a logjam at this point, with the Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie preceding it, as well as Birds of Prey, DC’s female anti-hero team up film, which will also star Robbie as Harley Quinn. After that, we’ll see if This Is Bad ends up being a concept that WB and DC are unable to resist.
Oh, and in case you were still wondering who you’re supposed to blame for the “DAMAGED” tattoo on the forehead of Leto’s Joker, director David Ayer has finally ‘fessed up to that particular crime.