The Joker is the greatest comic book villain of all time. If not the greatest, certainly the most recognizable. He’s been adapted to the screen multiple times but always as the antagonist. Sounds like DC Films is going to take a different route now and make an origin movie with the Clown Prince of Crime as the main character. And you won’t believe who is involved in this project.
Martin Scorsese. …WHAT?!?
Martin Scorsese is listed as a producer. Let that sink in. The director of Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, The Wolf of Wall Street and countless other excellent films is producing a movie about the Joker. That is absolutely crazy. The idea that we’ll be able to listen to Scorsese’s thoughts and interpretations of the Joker fills me with absolute glee. Even if the movie turned out to be awful, we’d still get to hear the director of The King of Comedy talk about the freakin’ Joker!
Speaking of The King of Comedy, now might be a good time for you to look that up as it might very well play a part in how this origin story will approach the character…
But Scorsese isn’t the only surprising addition to this movie. Who will direct it?
Todd Phillips, Director of The Hangover Trilogy
You might recoil at that news at first, but Phillips isn’t actually a bad choice. The Hangover Part III was barely a comedy and veered further into a dark crime film. Add to that Phillips’s abrasive and often offensive sense of humor and his sensibilities seem strangely right for a story about the Joker.
The setting of the story sounds very intriguing. From Deadline:
“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.”
That all sounds wacky in the best ways possible. Will the movie carve out its own new origin? Will it draw from classic comic stories such as The Killing Joke? So many questions!
But, there’s an even bigger takeaway from this news…
DC Might Start Making Non-Shared Universe Films
The word on the street is that this Joker film would start a new imprint of DC Films. What would that imprint do? Create standalone comic book movies that don’t tie into the DC Extended Universe.
That sounds AWESOME. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has made that particular filmmaking model the status quo when it comes to blockbuster adaptations. If DC decides to shake that structure and let artists come in and do whatever they want with comic book characters, it could lead to some risky, inventive, and excellent new films. If nothing else, this sounds like an exciting step back to the kind of comic book movies we used to enjoy. and if it runs parallel to the DCEU films, it could offer a variety of cool choices for fans and general audiences.
This is all breaking news and a lot to process, but as out of left field as this is, it’s also kind of exciting. Maybe this is the way the DC Films division can get back on track. We’ll keep our eyes and ears open on this one.