It seems as though some transformative shifts within the DC Extended Universe are expected to shake up the superhero genre in the near future, in part due to the arrival of Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn.
In a lengthy report published by Forbes on Wednesday, author Mark Hughes revealed that the upcoming iteration of Suicide Squad will be a reboot of David Ayer's 2016 film, in addition to introducing an entirely new cast of characters, which will not include Harley Quinn. “The Suicide Squad sequel, meanwhile, is moving forward as a sort of soft reboot to some extent, and is expected to have a new cast of characters and avoid direct tie-in to the first film’s events," the article explains. "Harley Quinn is not expected to return, and James Gunn’s script will be a new approach and rethinking of the property." Margot Robbie is also not expected to return for Gunn's reboot.
Additionally, Jared Leto's Joker standalone project, based on his Suicide Squad character of the same name, has reportedly been put on the backburner for the forseeable future. "The Mad Love-type Joker and Harley Quinn film has also fallen by the wayside, as has the solo Joker project for Jared Leto’s version of the character from Suicide Squad."
In addition to the shelving of Joker and a film with Harley Quinn, the upteenth iteration of Superman has also been reportedly cast aside. With a total of nine feature films since 1951, the superhero is bound to return to the big-screen, however as the report notes, part of their decision to put the iconic hero on the backburner has to do with the intention of spotlighting Supergirl.
The slew of rumors related to James Gunn being offered an upcoming Superman film prior to signing on for Suicide Squad were misconstrued. Superman is simply one of the many characters "on the table" for future discussions, however the studio is not actively pushing for another film starring Clark Kent. "If a filmmaker actively chose Superman and made a pitch the studio liked, then of course that would be a different situation," Hughes notes.
In part, this DC shakeup has to do with the box office success of Aquaman and the hype surrounding the upcoming Shazam! film staring Zachary Levi—indicating promising developments in the media franchise's future.