Todd Phillips' Joker origin movie may have just revealed its main filming location and a start date that is sooner than some may have expected.
With Joaquin Phoenix tipped to play the Clown Prince of Crime, the story of how the Joker got his smile seems to be a priority for Warner Bros. right now. With Jared Leto's controversial portrayal of the character in David Ayer's Suicide Squad and the recent box office disappointment of Justice League, the studio is taking some of its DC properties in a different direction.
According to Omega Underground, Phillips' movie could start filming as early as September and is reportedly using New York City to double up as the crime-riddled streets of Gotham in the '80s. Although Leto is still set to star in his own Joker standalone, it reportedly won't affect Phillips' movie that is currently going under name of Untitled Joker Origin Story Project. The Phoenix version will go under a new banner of DC movies away from the DC Extended Universe and could be called something like "DC Dark" or DC Black."
If all the rumors are true, the Joker origin movie will loosely follow Alan Moore's Batman: The Killing Joke and focus on a failed comedian who turns to a life of crime. Given that The Killing Joke is held as one of the best Joker stories since the character's introduction back in 1940, it was already expected that it would have some influence on Phillips' movie.
Set outside the continuity of the DCEU, Phillips and producer Martin Scorsese are given free-rein to do what they want with the character.
Also set to shoot on a $55 million budget, the Joker origin is expected to film for just a fraction of what today's standard comic book movie does. However, considering that 2016's Deadpool came in at just $58 million and went on to be the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time, it's a formula that has worked before.
With two Joker standalones now in the works at Warner Bros., Mr. J could be laughing all the way to the bank for the studio or have the smile wiped off his face by another disappointing silver-screen outing. Either way, Phillip's Joker movie seems on track to be a big announcement from the DC presentation at this year's Comic-Con International in San Diego, in July.