By Brandy Dykhuizen and Jarrod Jones. If a character has ever deserved a do-over in recent years, it’s the Joker. With Jared Leto’s bejeweled grill leaving an acrid taste in many a fan’s mouth, a palate cleanser is ever in order.
Was this what we had in mind? A solo film featuring the Clown Prince of Crime in his formative years — ostensibly an origin story, and set in the Eighties to boot?! It’s happening, apparently, with so many A-list names attached to the project it might make your electric hand-buzzer discharge involuntarily. So what do we know so far about the upcoming Joker origin movie? Not a whole lot.
But here’s a list anyway. Because these things are supposed to be cathartic, that’s why.
These are the dudes involved. In case we didn’t already make this clear, it seems the Joker’s screen image is really, really going in for a makeover. So far, Todd Phillips (The Hangover, War Dogs) is slated to co-write the film, and there’s potential for the filmmaker to even direct it. Scott Silver (8 Mile, The Fighter) will pen the picture with Mr. Phillips. These two may not be obvious choices, or even our fourteenth choice for such a project, but the combined might of their heavy-hitting resume is certainly a recipe for… something.
(Seriously, though. Don’t tell us this doesn’t feel like Warner Bros. just picked two names out of a hat.)
It won’t be a part of the DCEU. Joker — not its official name — likely won’t cross over with what we’ve seen from DC in recent years. Warner Bros. is distancing this film from the established DCEU (just when it was getting good, too). Consider it an Elseworlds-type movie, but without the studio doing something awesome like acknowledging the existence of Elseworlds. (“This will be the first film under a new banner that has yet to be named,” said Deadline, who got the exclusive.)
So shelve your opinions of Suicide Squad, Man of Steel, BvS, somehow, and open your mind to the possibility that this could maybe turn out to be a halfway decent movie. Or don’t! This project is so outside-the-box that we just might find ourselves on the other side of it in the hard vacuum of space.
In fact, this movie might be set in the Eighties. You’re not going to believe this, but…
Early-‘80s Gotham City actually sounds like a good a setting as any to meet The Joker. As a film set outside of DC’s established films, the filmmakers are likely going to take a stab at a grittier, rougher story. (As opposed to, y’know, that exact same thing, only more Wagnerian.) Think Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo’s Joker, only with far more cocaine. You know, like an old Scorsese flick.
In fact, where does one go to find a producer who has an intimate knowledge of the more hedonistic side of an urban wasteland? To the front door of the filmmaker of Taxi Driver, duh.
Did we mention that Martin Scorsese might produce this thing? Because he might, for some reason.
Warner Bros. will probably cast a new Joker. The only thing we know for sure about this new Joker is that he’s not gonna be portrayed by Jared Leto.
Warner Bros. has confirmed that the new film will be far outside the parameters of previous flicks, providing a little casting wiggle room to walk away, far away, from whatever that was in Suicide Squad. Todd Phillips films have launched many a career for lesser-known actors (Zach Galifianakis and Bradley Cooper, just to name a couple), so be prepared to meet someone new. Or not. Really, we have no idea.
The only thing we do know is that this could either be a great idea or a really, really bad one. Movies!
Warner Bros’ ‘Joker’ movie has no official release date.