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DC Developing Joker Origin Story With Martin Scorsese and The Hangover‘s Todd Phillips

There’s already a groundswell of opinion about the news Deadline broke: DC Films and Warner Bros. are just starting to develop a new Joker origin story, expanding their Batman universe, and they’re bringing in Martin Scorsese (!!!) to help. Thus far, they’ve attached The Hangover‘s Todd Phillips and 8 Mile screenwriter Scott Silver to co-write the script, with Phillips directing. Scorsese will produce alongside Phillips. This Joker origin story will be unveiled under a new, as of yet untitled banner that Warner Bros. will be using to expand upon their canon of DC properties, where they’ll be creating new storylines with various actors playing the iconic superheroes and villains.

Deadline also reports that this origin story for the Joker will not rely on any previous explanations for his rise, which means this Joker will not share any of the memorable painful histories we saw in Tim Burton’s Batman, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, or David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. 

Of course when it comes to the Joker, arguably the most iconic super villain of them all, it’s all about who plays him. He’s been memorably embodied by Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger (in our mind, the best Joker of all time), and Jared Leto. Leto will be reprising the role in the Suicide Squad sequel and the Harley Quinn spinoff, but this origin story will find a new actor for the role.

With Scorsese’s involvement, it makes sense that the early word is this will be a gritty crime film set in early ’80s Gotham, which puts one in mind of Taxi Driver. While fans are already scratching their heads (and tapping on their keyboards) regarding the choice of The Hangover‘s Phillips as co-writer and director, Scorsese’s involvement should earn this film a huge amount of leeway before the haters start complaining. 

Featured image: The Joker, courtesy DC Comics.

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The Credits is an online magazine that tells the story behind the story to celebrate our large and diverse creative community. Focusing on profiles of below-the-line filmmakers, The Credits celebrates the often uncelebrated individuals who are indispensable to the films and TV shows we love.

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