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Todd Phillips Directing, Martin Scorsese Producing a Joker Origin Movie

Joker Batman
Warner Bros.

Okay, well, we didn’t see this one coming. Warner Bros. and DC are bringing us an origin movie for none other than classic, ageless Batman villain the Joker.

Deadline reports that Todd Phillips of The Hangover and 8 Mile’s Scott Silver are co-writing a script for the developing project, and Phillips will direct and produce the movie alongside Martin Scorsese. Yes, that Martin Scorsese. Deadline’s report also includes this ominous tidbit: “This will be the first film under a new banner that has yet to be named in which WB can expand the canon of DC properties and create unique storylines with different actors playing the iconic characters.”

We don’t know yet what kind of origin the film will include, if it’ll go with a familiar comic arc or if Phillips and Silver will try something wholly new. Deadline writes that “isn’t part of any other iteration,” so don’t expect a Ledger- or Nicholson-style Joker for this go-round. The movie will occur in the same DCEU, but Jared Leto, who played the villain in last year’s Suicide Squad, will not reprise the role for this movie. They’re thinking of going with someone younger.

The origin film is planned to be a “gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film set in early-’80s Gotham City” that’s meant to feel more like a Scorsese movie from that era (something like Taxi Driver or Raging Bull) than the DC movies we’ve come to expect. So that’s something new and different, and if Phillips can pull it off, potentially cool. There’s no official word on where this will fit in with DC’s upcoming schedule.

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