Since his introduction over 70 years ago, The Joker has not only been the greatest nemesis of the Caped Crusader, he has also become the most famous villain of all time. And even at then, there has been one thing that The Joker has really been lacking compared to other villains in every superhero comic book; a real and cemented origin story.
DC and Warner Bros have announced that a Joker movie is in the works which will explore his origin story, however, there is a big “but”, as Jared Leto – who currently plays Joker in the DCEU – is not going to be playing the role of the Clowned Prince of Crime. In fact, the upcoming Joker movie isn’t connected to Jared’s version.
The Hangover’s Todd Phillips has been partnered with 8 Mile’s Scott Silver to pen a Joker origin story that will be part of a new DC movies banner that’s intended to “expand the canon of DC properties” and have different actors playing the comic book company’s characters. Thus, unconnected to the DCEU continuity. In the case of this Joker movie, the plan is to make it a “gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film” set in early 1980s Gotham City. As for the actor, there’s no word yet on who’s being eyed, although it may end up being someone younger than Jared Leto. Deadline also noted that Martin Scorsese is attached to produce this project with Phillips.
In terms of The Joker’s origin story, there’s been an endless cloud of mystery surrounding how he became the white-skinned insane killer. In Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s graphic novel The Killing Joke, there was a full fledged origin story until the Joker said in the same movie, “Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another…If I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!
Then there’s the question of how Batman would fit into this story. Initially it may seem like a no-brainer that the Caped Crusader would appear in The Joker movie given that he’s directly tied to the clown’s origin in most stories, but there’s always a chance that this might go in a creative direction where Batman plays no role in the villain’s rise to power.