Although the DCEU began with a wobbly start, it has since found its footing with the successes of Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Shazam! With a mainstream foundation being set, Warner Bros. has started making some more bold artistic decisions.
Fighting against the flow of the MCU, where everything and anything has to be connected like the world's most expensive jigsaw puzzle, Warner Bros. has begun developing DC films that exist outside of the connected DCEU. The first of which is Joker - a crime-thriller origin film for the renowned Batman film, directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix.
Although it has been stated that Joker would be very much its own thing, the awards buzz from the Venice Film Festival, which recently culminated in winning the prestigious Golden Lion award for best film, as well as the substantiated speculation on its performance in the upcoming Academy Awards, just may make Warner Bros. reconsider.
Whether you want it or not, Joker could easily be the beginning of a franchise built around an even grittier and disturbing Gotham City, where Joker arises as the psychotic hero, while Batman could be challenged by public outrage.