Todd Phillips' Joker Origin Movie Is Still in Development

The Joker Endgame

The development of a Joker film starring Jared Leto apparently won't affect Todd Phillips' origin of the Clown Prince of Crime.

Following Tuesday's report of Warner Bros.' plans for a Suicide Squad spinoff, Deadline contends Phillips' film remains in development, with Joaquin Phoenix set to star as Batman's arch-nemesis. The intention is to release that project under a banner separate from the continuity of the so-called DC Extended Universe, home to Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman and the upcoming Aquaman.

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Reports of Phillips' Joker origin film first surfaced in August 2017, when it was described as “a gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film” set in early-1980s Gotham City. Produced by Martin Scorsese and written by Phillips and Scott Silver (8 Mile), who will also direct, the project is rumored to dramatically change The Joker's backstory, making him a failed comedian.

Leto, who debuted as The Joker in 2016's Suicide Squad, is expected to reprise his role in its sequel, as well as in a planned Joker and Harley Quinn spinoff, and possibly the Margot Robbie-led Birds of Prey.

Suicide Squad 2 is expected to begin production in 2019.

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