Deadline is exclusively reporting that Warner Bros. and DC are in the early stages of developing a origin story feature focusing on Batman’s main villain The Joker.
The report states that the studio have Todd Phillips and Scott Silver co-writing the script, with Phillips attached to also direct the feature, and Martin Scorsese is attached to produce the project alongside Phillips. This Batman spinoff is reportedly not connected to the studios DC Extended Universe and will be the first film that will expand the canon of DC properties and create unique storylines with different actors playing iconic characters, making this Joker not part of any other iteration and will feature a different actor (no Jared Leto from the DCEU), possibly younger.
The report states that the intention for this film is to make it a gritty, grounded crime film set in 1980’s Gotham City that is meant to feel more like Scorsese’s film classics such as Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. While Phillips and Silver are writing the screenplay, there’s no schedule announcement for the project as it’s in early stages of development.
While I can see why people are freaking out over the fact that Todd Phillips is attached to direct a Joker standalone film (The guy behind Road Trip, Old School, that Starsky & Hutch remake and The Hangover trilogy), but having Scott Silver (8 Mile and The Fighter) co-write the script with him and have Martin Scorsese attached has me slightly more at ease. Others are more up in arms about the project about giving The Joker an origin story, though in the comics throughout the decades there has been several stabs at what his origin could be but none have ever been cemented as being official. The most common ‘creation’ of The Joker is him falling into a tank of chemical waste which bleaches his skin white, turns his hair green, and his lips bright red; the resulting disfigurement drives him insane.