The DC Extended Universe just keeps on expanding, but it is hard to imagine that anyone saw this one coming. According to a new report, Warner Bros. is looking at doing a Joker movie that will explore the origin story of the iconic Batman villain. That part isn't so hard to believe. The crazy part is that Todd Phillips, the director of The Hangover trilogy, is set to helm the movie and co-write the script, while Martin Scorsese, one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, is producing.
Deadline brings us this rather unexpected news, and it doesn't get any less crazy. Scott Silver, the man behind 8 Mile, is said to be co-writing the script for this Joker movie with Todd Phillips right now. According to the report, this project will be happening under a new, unnamed production banner at Warner Bros. that "can expand the canon of DC properties and create unique storylines with different actors playing the iconic characters." So it looks like we are going to get a whole lot more DC spin-offs in the future. Or at least Warner Bros. is going to develop them.
This Joker origin story is said to be taking place during the 80s in Gotham City. The idea, per this report, is to have it feel like Martin Scorsese's movies from that era, with Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and The King Of Comedy named specifically. That would explain why the studio would want Scorsese involved, but it doesn't necessarily explain how they convinced him to work on a comic book movie. Especially one that runs the risk of being quite controversial. The Joker doesn't have a definitive origin story and it is certainly something that has never been fully explored on screen. So this movie could be wandering into delicate territory with the fan community.
Deadline's report notes that this particular Joker origin won't be part of "any other iteration." That being the case, it is said that Jared Leto, who most recently portrayed the DC Comics villain in Suicide Squad, won't be playing the character in this movie. Instead, they will be targeting a new, possibly younger actor. However, the report does mention that Leto is still slated to appear in Suicide Squad 2 and Gotham City Sirens, though, that project seems to be less of a sure thing at this point.
Currently, there is no word as to when this will fit into Warner Bros. slate of DC movies or how it will connect to the greater DCEU, if at all. Considering the iconic performances linked to The Joker on screen, with Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton's Batman and Heath Ledger's character-defining performance in The Dark Knight, this may be a tough sell. Then again, The Joker is certainly a very popular character and Warner Bros. does have Martin Scorsese on board the creative team. At this point, there are more questions than answers, but good or bad, this is certainly a bit of unexpected news for DC fans. We will be sure to keep you up to date as more details on the Joker movie are made available.