A Joker Origin Film Is In The Works Posted by: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
Date: August 22, 2017
It’s not a quote from the right Batman villain here, but it’ll work…
I'm of "two minds" on this subject.
What news? Well, if you haven’t heard (and yes, I’m a little late as I was out on a practice field in 100+ degree heat coaching football this afternoon), Warner Bros. has tapped Todd Phillips (THE HANGOVER) to co-write a script with Scott Silver (8 MILE) about the origin of the greatest comic book villain ever, The Joker.
Martin Scorsese is set to produce with Mr. Phillips. DEADLINE.COM broke this story.
A Joker origin story movie? I’m not sure I think it’s a good idea. Here’s the take on this Joker film per the trade…
The intention is to make a gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film set in early-’80s Gotham City that isn’t meant to feel like a DC movie as much as one of Scorsese’s films from that era, like TAXI DRIVER, RAGING BULL or THE KING OF COMEDY.”
OK, that sounds cool and stuff, but I’m of the opinion that The Joker is portrayed the best when his background and origin is unknown. Furthermore, how in the hell can you have a Joker film – especially one that depicts his origin – without Batman? ANYWAY…
According to the trade, this Joker origin movie will be the first of a new series of live-action DC films under a new unnamed banner in which “WB can expand the canon of DC properties and create unique storylines with different actors playing the iconic characters.”
In other words, they are moving away from having one singular DC Comics cinematic universe, just making DC films and not worrying about continuity. In fact, there could end up with different actors playing different versions of the same DC character in totally separate and unrelated films.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t think I’d have any issue with this approach for DC on film from WB, thus my second mind on this topic.
Here’s what all this sounds like to me (and I’m also throwing in a bit of “educated guessing”).
Since JUSTICE LEAGUE ends without a cliffhanger or setting up a sequel (it does indeed end with a nice and tight bow on top), it will be the end of the DCEU1.0 that started with MAN OF STEEL back in 2013. The DCEU will continue – the DCEU2.0 – in the form of AQUAMAN and the WONDER WOMAN sequel, but neither will really allude or tie-in to JL or the DCEU1.0.
The writing is on the wall for the DCEU1.0, no?
With all that said, anyone want to bet that this “expanding the canon of DC properties and creating unique storylines with different actors playing icon DC characters” is going to apply to Matt Reeves’ upcoming Batman film(s)? Hell, if I were a betting man (and I’m not – that would be Rick Shew), I’d lay a year’s pay – in MONOPOLY money, as always – that Mr. Reeves’ Batman movies have nothing to do with the DCEU.
In all honestly, this potential new DC on film approach by Warner Bros. sounds a lot like what THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY’s Christopher Nolan allegedly recommended to the studio around the time of MAN OF STEEL: (and I paraphrase too) Make as many DC films as you want, but don’t marry them to continuity and let them be their own thing.
When it comes to having continuity-less DC films, I give Warner Bros. my blessing. But, I'm still not sold on a Joker origin film.