Speculation is hotting up that David Ayer, the writer-director of ‘Suicide Squad’ who had been attached to future DC Extended Universe movie ‘Gotham City Sirens,’ may be out of the DC movie business.
As readers may be aware, Warner Bros/DC seem keen on building up the darker side of their roster. Not only do they have ‘Suicide Squad 2’ on the fast track without Ayer’s involvement, they’re also pushing ahead on two movies featuring The Joker: one centred on The Joker and Harley Quinn, in which ‘Suicide Squad’ stars Jared Leto and Margot Robbie are expected to return and a standalone Joker prequel which Martin Scorcese is producing, for which a new, younger actor will be cast.
However, one report from The Tracking Board remarks that the Joker/Harley Quinn film will “take the place of ‘Gotham City Sirens,’ which has been reconceived.” It also notes that David Ayer is no longer attached to the project.
Taking its name from a popular DC Comics series which ran from 2009 to 2011, ‘Gotham City Sirens’ would team up Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Catwoman. It was also anticipated the film would bring more female characters from the Batman universe to the screen, potentially including superheroine team the Birds of Prey.
Given the near-universal acclaim ‘Wonder Woman’ received, and the widespread disappointment in ‘Suicide Squad’s representation of The Joker, it does seem curious that Warner Bros/DC would prefer to step back from another female-centred project in favour of yet more Clown Prince of Crime action.
Still, it may be a simple case of ‘Gotham City Sirens’ needing more time to get production-ready, particularly if it has indeed just lost its director.
Word got about that Ayer might be done with the DCEU back at San Diego Comic Con in July, when the director – promoting his upcoming Netflix movie ‘Bright’ – made remarks which intimated unhappiness with his ‘Suicide Squad’ experience, stressing that ‘Bright’ isn’t “some bulls**t standard issue studio PG-13 movie.” Ayer later appeared to reaffirm his commitment to ‘Gotham City Sirens’ by tweeting an image of Harley Quinn – but have things changed in the interim?
Though ‘Suicide Squad’ did not fare well with critics (25% at Rotten Tomatoes), it made over $745 million at the global box office.
No release dates have been announced for ‘Suicide Squad 2’ (which is still without a director) or the Harley Quinn/Joker movie – nor has there been any official word on whether or not ‘Gotham City Sirens’ is cancelled.
In the meantime, the DCEU will continue with ‘Justice League,’ opening 17 November.