Todd Phillips to Direct The Joker Prequel, Martin Scorsese to Produce


With the critical and commercial success of Wonder Woman and the addition of Joss Whedon to the DC creative team for Justice League reshoots and the upcoming Batgirl movie, it feels like Warner Brothers may slowly be turning the tide with their comic book movie universe. In particular, they are continuing to rely pretty heavily on Batman with several related spin-offs including Suicide Squad 2, Gotham City Sirens, a Nightwing movie, and the aforementioned Batgirl film. Now this week we are learning that there is a new Joker solo movie in the works that will supposedly involve Martin Scorsese of all people. It may sound like an April Fool’s joke but somehow it appears to be legit. Hit the jump for the full scoop.

According to Deadline, Warner Bros and DC are currently developing another new movie set in the DC extended universe that will tell the origin story of Batman’s arch enemy The Joker. Todd Phillips (The Hangover) will direct and co-write the script with Scott Silver (8 Mile, The Fighter). Jared Leto is not expected to reprise the role from Suicide Squad and instead this version will likely recast him with a younger actor.

Now the crazy part is that Martin Scorsese is supposedly on board as a producer although it is unclear how involved he will be. They are aiming to make this a “gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film set in early-’80s Gotham City” and they are comparing it to Scorsese’s films from the era like Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. Phillips is best known for his R-rated comedies like The Hangover Trilogy and Old School but his most recent film War Dogs was a bit different and seemed to have been influenced by Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. Ironically, The Hangover star Zach Galifianakis recently voiced The Joker for The Lego Batman Movie. Are you interested in seeing a Joker origin story on the big screen?

Around the Web:

  • Jake

    “I’ll take ‘Movies That Will Never Be Made’ for 500 Alex”.

  • 1138sw

    Man the whole point of the joker is that his origin is unknown, that he is pure evil incarnate with possible multiple origins and myths surrounding his birth.

    Can WB ever get this universe right?! Oy Vey!!!

  • Jameson

    Agreed, his origin should always be a mystery. But even so, making it a gritty Taxi Driver-esque crime film? Why??

  • Larry Morgan

    eh, sounds dumb but I’ll still probably watch it

  • Larry Morgan

    but…the Killing Joke?

  • Justin H

    Been a while since I’ve read it, but I feel like its not a super concrete “origin” exactly. Snyder also had an origin type story a few years ago as well if I’m not mistaken. I do think that its pretty well established that he was the Red Hood or whatever though.

    I haven’t followed cape books in like 4-5 years, mind.

    I do agree with 1138 in that I think he is more interesting as a mysterious guy who is the foil for Bats. This is probably just going to be 2.5 hrs following a youngish roguish crook boy who just started out to help his sick mommy but falls in slime and goes crazy. Yawn.

    I’ll be mildly interested as long as there is no Leto.

  • Justin H

    We can all hope.

  • 1138sw

    The Killing Joke was originally an outlier, independent from the Batman Universe. It wasn’t until later that elements were imported into the Regular Batman Universe because the Killing Joke just became so extremely popular and legendary.

    But Joker’s recollection of his past is somewhat just that…his recollection…He’s so insane that even he doesn’t know what his origins are.

    Now that being said he has been linked to the red hood as being his origin story…with different variations of course. But later ideas about the Joker’s origin eventually evolved into the “unknown” because of Joker’s insanity which prohibited him and others from really knowing the truth of his origins.

    I prefer the Joker’s past being unknowable. For me it just adds to his overall evil insanity persona!