People are speculating that actor John Cleese may be joining the DC Extended Universe.
In a tweet released before a Worchester, MA show, Cleese included a picture of himself. On his desk one can spot three comic books: the Justice League: Origin compilation (which describes the group’s founding in the current continuity), Batman Noir: The Black Mirror and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. The latter in particular heavily informed the franchise’s second film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Cleese is a comedian, best known for his work in Monty Python’s Flying Circus and the TV show Fawtly Towers. This makes him a somewhat odd fit for the DC Extended Universe, which has been noted as very dark and gritty. Then again, perhaps that’s the point: many would-be fans describe the films as too bleak and joyless, and Warner Bros., which owns the franchise, has been working hard to convince them that the upcoming movies will be more lighthearted in tone. Perhaps snagging Cleese would play into that plan?
All of this is speculation as of now; perhaps Cleese just likes comic books. If he is joining the franchise, we have no idea what character he might play.
Other notable film roles of Cleese include the ghost “Nearly-Headless” Nick in the first two Harry Potter films, Princess Fiona’s father Harold in the Shrek franchise and the scientist Q in James Bond.
Disney and Lucasfilm performed a successful experiment with Rogue One, a Star Wars “anthology film” set between the main “Episodes” in the saga. This bodes well for their next entry in this spin-off series, Han Solo, which will explore the titular character’s origin.
Created by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the film will star Alden Ehrenreich as the young man who will one day meet the Skywalker twins and help save the galaxy. A few other actors have also signed on, including Woody Harrelson, who says that he will be playing a mentor figure for Solo.
Though nothing is known for sure, some fans suspect that Harrelson’s character will be Garris Shrike, a figure from Star Wars’ “Legends” line of books, comics and other stories. According to this backstory, Shrike was a criminal who raised Solo and other orphans to help him with his escapades, but also proved abusive at times. Solo eventually rebelled and escaped, with the aid of best friend Chewbacca, who is confirmed to appear in the film.
The “Legends” line is no longer canon since Disney took over the series. However, many other characters and events from these stories have been reintroduced into the official mythology, making it entirely possible that Harrelson will bring Garris Shrike to the big screen. If so, he may also be the antagonist, a twist on the franchise’s previous “apprentice turns evil” theme.
Harrelson says that the film will begin production in March.