I’m pretty sure we all saw this coming, but here it goes: Deadline is reporting that a Joker origin movie is on its way, with Martin Scorsese on board to produce.
Does The Joker Need A Backstory?
The Joker is arguably one of DC’s most popular characters, certainly its most popular villain, so this announcement only seemed like a matter of time, particularly running off the momentum of Wonder Woman’s recent success.
It raises the question, however: does the Joker need an origin story? I would personally argue no. Not every villain needs a backstory, especially one as over the top as the Joker. An origin movie runs the risk of humanizing a villain that is loved specifically for his lunacy, absurdity, and callousness. If we learn too much about him, we lose all of that—not to mention, in order to make a feature length Joker movie work, you’d need to make him sympathetic somehow, and we definitely don’t want that.
Who Should Play The Joker?
The biggest challenge in making this movie work, however, will be finding the right Joker. Plenty of actors have donned the green hair and cracked the crooked smile--Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson most notably--but Jared Leto’s most recent turn as the sadistic criminal mastermind in Suicide Squad left a sour taste in most people’s mouths.
While Leto will be returning for the Suicide Squad sequel and the yet-to-be-named Harley Quinn spinoff, he will not reprise the role in this origin movie, according to Deadline. In fact, Warner Brother and DC plan to use this Joker movie as a kickoff for a new lineup of superhero flicks that will allow them to expand their universe with unique stories and new actors playing iconic characters.
What We Know About The Joker Origin Movie
Details are only just beginning to emerge, but here’s what we know so far:
With Scorsese as producer, the film will obviously have a very Scorsese vibe, “a gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film,” as Deadline describes it, and it will be set in the early 1980’s. Todd Phillips (War Dogs, The Hangover, Old School) will direct, and co-write with Scott Silver (8 Mile, The Fighter).