Warner Bros. and DC are currently prepping a Joker origin story film, Deadline reports. While the project is in its early stages, they've already grabbed some big names to back it. But the questions remains: is this movie really necessary?
Todd Phillips (The Hangover, War Dogs) will reportedly direct and co-write the script alongside Scott Silver (8 Mile). Hollywood legend Martin Scorsese is set to co-produce with Phillips. Recently, DC has been messy when it comes to crafting solid films under the extended universe—and this one is no different. The Joker origin story will not be part of the DCEU and will instead be under a new and yet to be named banner. This means it won't be included in the Justice League and Suicide Squad worlds, in which movies (like the Suicide Squad sequel) are currently being developed.
If that wasn't enough to make you scratch your head, the movie will be led by a new, different and possibly younger actor. This means that Jared Leto, who played The Joker in last summer's Suicide Squad and is set for the sequel, won't star in this spinoff. The iconic role has previously been played by Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson, with Mark Hamill voicing the wicked villain in the animated versions. Deadline claims the studio wants to move away from the typical DC setting and play into Scorsese's beloved crime drama style, with the movie being set in a gritty '80s Gotham City.
So why is this movie not the best idea? Well along with having a different actor and it being part of a new DC banner, The Joker himself doesn't have a set origin! Some fans would argue that the villain's story was somewhat revealed in The Killing Joke comic where he once was a family man and failed comedian that suffered "one bad day" that drove him to insanity. But even then, the character claims “If I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice.” One of the main draws of The Joker's manic personality is his mystery, so why taint that with a deep dive into his origin? Also, DC has portrayed the character an infinite amount of times over the past decade to the point that this upcoming film could come off as reductive. The Joker is such an integral part of the DC world, so why ruin his brilliant significance with overexposure? How about we give another classic Batman villain some shine, like Two-Face, Poison Ivy, Penguin or Catwoman (something more substantial than that Halle Berry tragedy, of course). DC should take a note out of Marvel's book, as they're trying something new with the upcoming Venom spinoff.
As we wait for more details on the Joker movie, flip it over to the comic conglomerate who's actually doing it right as Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso talks big 2017 plans, Netflix and MCU comic book tie-ins with Fuse: