The Joker may just get the last laugh. Deadline reports that Warner Bros. is developing a Joker origin film with a new, possibly younger actor to play the character. The Hangover scribe Todd Phillips will co-write a script with 8 Mile‘s Scott Silver, who will direct and also produce alongside Martin Scorsese.
Warner Bros. will unleash this Joker origin movie under an as-yet-untitled new banner, which will house a range of DC properties that exist outside of the DC Extended Universe. As with this Joker origin film, the banner will put different actors in the roles of iconic DC characters.
The intention is to make this Joker origin film “a gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film” set in the early 1980s in, of course, Gotham City. The film is expected to feel less like a DC movie and more like other projects Scorsese has created, like Taxi Driver and Raging Bull.
In the comics, the Joker is renown for not having a solid origin story; many Batman stories portray his past as open for interpretation and speculation. Per the report, the studio is eyeing up a new, younger actor for the role, though Jared Leto is slated to play the character in both the Suicide Squad sequel and the Harley Quinn spinoff Gotham City Sirens. Leto first appeared as the Clown Prince of Crime in Suicide Squad, though his take on the character was not rated as highly as prior performances from Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger.
The movie is in early stages of development, with script-writing underway. It does not yet have a release date.
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