DCEU News: Joker Script, Wonder Woman in Flashpoint, Lex Luthor

As Warner Bros.‘ DC Extended Universe plans continue to evolve, we have three big pieces of DCEU news this morning involving the Joker origin movie script, Wonder Woman in Flashpoint and Lex Luthor in Justice League!

RELATED: Exclusive: Margot Robbie Talks Joker and Harley Quinn Film

First up, Variety’s Justin Kroll has tweeted that the script for director Todd Phillips and producer Martin Scorsese’s Joker origin movie will be turned in next week, which means the project is on the fast track.

Todd Phillips is currently co-writing said script with 8 Mile‘s Scott Silver and will co-produce with Scorsese. Leonardo DiCaprio is rumored to be under early consideration by the studio to take the lead, which will be different than Jared Leto’s interpretation in Suicide Squad. The film will be set in the ’80s and be tonally similar to Taxi Driver, and is one of several one-off films that will exist outside regular DCEU continuity. There is no tentative release date.

Speaking of villains, it seems like early rumors of Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor being either cut out of or possibly even never shot for Justice League are firming up, as Batman News confirms the current cut does not feature the character at all.

This comes despite Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice setting up a tangible connection between Luthor, the Mother Boxes and villain Steppenwolf. Considering how negative fan reaction was to the character in that film, it seems logical that Joss Whedon (taking over for credited original director Zack Snyder) ultimately would take Luthor out of the equation on what is undoubtedly an already overstuffed enterprise. The Marvel Cinematic Universe actually made a similar move by eliminating William Hurt’s General Ross from 2012’s The Avengers, ignoring a post-credits scene in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk setting him up as playing a part in bringing The Hulk to the team.

Justice League is set to open on November 17.

Finally, buried in an item on Deadline about Gal Gadot being cast in the movie Deeper is a quick confirmation that she will also be featured in the DCEU event film Flashpoint. This is big news, especially since the Flash solo project was originally meant to be a time-traveling buddy movie with Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) teaming up with Cyborg, but since the planned Cyborg solo movie centering on Ray Fisher’s Victor Stone has been unceremoniously scrapped, it now looks like Flashpoint has taken a new direction. Given the incredible success of Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot’s involvement takes Flashpoint to similar importance as Captain America: Civil War was for the MCU, in that it could become a massive nexus point for many DC heroes, and may turn out to be something of a soft reboot for the whole DCEU.

Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future trilogy) is still considered the frontrunner to direct Flashpoint, though no deal has been announced. Phil Lord & Chris Miller of The LEGO Movie and formerly of Lucasfilm’s Han Solo film are also under consideration to take the helm, after having originally worked on another iteration of the script.