The Batman won’t hit theaters until spring 2022, but you can bet sequel plans are already baked in. It’s accepted wisdom that while Matt Reeves’ film will introduce many of the Caped Crusader’s rogue’s gallery, they’re saving the Joker for his next adventure. So who’s taking over one of the most coveted roles in superhero cinema?
A number of names have been mentioned, though one that’s come up time and time again is Johnny Depp. Multiple insiders have claimed that Warner Bros are eager for Depp to put a flamboyant and theatrical spin on the character. Depp is also reportedly keen to sign on the dotted line, believing that (as with Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix before him) the role could finally score him an Academy Award.
“Depp really wants Joker role. While talks with WB have stopped, he may resume if he wins trial and he thinks it could get him an Oscar,” says insider Daniel Richtman.
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But, as you’re probably thinking, there’s a gigantic fly in this ointment. Depp just lost a very public libel case in the British High Court, in which a judge ruled a newspaper can legally call him a “wife beater”, as well as finding his ex-wife Amber Heard’s abuse allegations credible. We still don’t know what the long term impact of this ruling will be, but a good sign of what’s coming is that Warner Bros dropped him like a hot rock from Fantastic Beasts 3.
For my money that makes it unlikely that Depp is going to be The Batman‘s Joker, even though he may well accept a substantial pay cut to play the role. It’s possible that his reputation may be somewhat rehabilitated if he wins his appeal in London and things go better in his various domestic actions, but right now smart money says that the part is going to someone else.
Either way, we likely won’t get any official casting information on a The Batman sequel until after March 2022. Let’s see how Depp’s doing then.