Phoenix to Play Joker in Todd Phillips Standalone Film
DC Comics is in the middle of shuffling their film slate. Due to Justice League‘s lukewarm success (our review can be read here), they are understandably in a panic. One piece of news to come out is a possible solo Joker film. Martin Scorcese is supposedly producing the film, and Hangover director Todd Phillips is writing and directing. This film would not have any connection to the DC Cinematic Universe, where Jared Leto plays the part.
This week, Variety revealed Joaquin Phoenix was in talks for the role. While Variety points out these aren’t official studio talks, Phoenix is Phillips’s top choice. Phoenix has been keeping a low profile in recent years, choosing to perform in smaller indie films. Before these talks, Leonard DiCaprio was the top choice. In addition, Scott Silver will co-write the screenplay, which will be a gritty look into Joker’s possible origins.
Elseworlds on the Big Screen?
This film will fall under a new DC umbrella of films that has yet to be given an official title. This has the potential to cause confusion, not to mention more derision for the beleaguered company. However, we can look to the comics for a title and a rationale. In the comics, the DC Universe has multiple realities called Elseworlds. These allow creative talents to explore stories with the characters without having to deal with canon. It allows stories such as Stalin raising Superman to Batman being a vampire, to Robin being a pirate. This untitled Joker movie would fit such a label. It allows exploration and DC’s original intent of having director-focused films.
However, there is still the trap that the universes could be confusing. DC will have to separate this new film label from their main universe. Elseworlds would be an excellent label.
Hear that chilling laughter? Joker’s coming to town.