Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment announced a Joker origin movie. The film is part of a new, unbranded, branch of WB/DC’s partnership.
A Street Level Joker
Strap in, folks. There’s a lot to unpack here. Warner Bros. announced an all-new Joker origin film. The film is unconnected to the current DCEU continuity. In and of itself, this is pretty big news. Essentially, Warner Bros. is setting up a multiverse for its DC properties. Now, while this is a big risk, it makes a little bit of sense. At Comic-Con this year, DC announced Flashpoint. Flashpoint only works if the concept of the multiverse is in play. However, this is a bananas way to go about it. But, the insanity is just beginning.
The creative team behind this movie is . . . interesting. First, the film will be co-written by Todd Phillips (The Hangover), and Scott Silver (8 Mile). Furthermore, Phillips is directing the project. And here’s the kicker: Martin Scorsese is serving as Executive Producer. Yes, that Martin Scorsese. The film will take place in an early-80’s version of Gotham, akin to the crime-riddled New York City of Scorsese’s early films.
On the casting side, Jared Leto is not reprising his role as the Joker. Although, he will portray the character in Suicide Squad 2 and the Harley Quinn solo movie. Understandably, the production will likely cast a younger actor. Additionally, there is no word about other Batman universe characters appearing in the film.
Is This The Right Move?
It’s hard to stay optimistic about this news. DC is having a hard time getting their initial cinematic universe on the right foot. So, launching a second one and asking audiences to keep up is a tall order. On one hand, a street level Joker film sounds interesting. Brian Azzarello’s Joker comic was okay but offered a fun look at a debaucherous mafia boss in the style of Martin Scorsese. On the other hand, the Joker is wearing out his welcome a little bit. He’s a great foil to Batman. But, there are a lot of untapped villains waiting for their silver screen debuted in Batman’s rogue’s gallery.
Also, making Martin Scorsese-esque movies without Martin Scorsese behind the camera is dicey. Scorsese’s films revel in New York tough guy machismo. But, they are deep explorations about why these men crave such corrupting power. A lot of folks miss that important second element. Unfortunately, that leaves audiences a bland, boring movie that glorifies the wrong ideals. The creative team boasts impressive talent. All three of the players have made wildly successful films. But, it’s hard to tell if this is the right move financially or creatively for those involved.
So, what do you think of this brand new Joker story? Which comics do you hope to inspire the film? Let us know in the comments!