When it comes to the growing DC slate of films at Warner Bros., one thing that many seem to have in common is being related to Batman in some way. Now the studio is reportedly ready to give another one of the dark knight’s rogues their own film.
According to Deadline, the studio is reportedly in the early stages of a film for Batman’s biggest villain Joker, with The Hangover trilogy’s Todd Phillips directing and co-writing a script with Scott Silver (8 Mile) and Martin Scorsese on board to produce the film alongside Phillips. Reportedly the film will tell a Joker origin story set in the early 80’s in Gotham City and is said to be similar in tone to Scorsese’s films of that era like Taxi Driver or Raging Bull.
A younger actor will take on this role, while Jared Leto is said to still be attached to play the character in the Suicide Squad sequel and the Harley Quinn led Gotham City Sirens spinoff.
Speaking of those other DC Extended Universe films, this new film is adding a brand new wrinkle to this growing slate of films. According to the reports it will not take place in the DCEU that is being built, instead the film will be the first under a new unnamed banner that will “expand the canon of DC properties and create unique storylines with different actors playing the iconic characters.”
If that sounds a bit familiar, in a way it’s going back to the way that Warner Bros. used to make DC films. It would be backing away from the shared continuity universes that are in style right now, including the DCEU, and instead embrace a format where they just make the films they want to make featuring DC characters and not worry about connecting it to other films.
With all the constant rumors of Ben Affleck departing as Batman and the bumps in the road that the DCEU has had since it’s beginning, it could be a thing where WB wants their cake and to be able to eat it too with the DC characters.
Keep the DCEU going with the characters it already has, but have this spin off brand where they can place the films that they’ve greenlit that might not actually fit into the DCEU as easily. It could even be a way for them to retire Batman from the DCEU, if that is actually a thing that is happening, and get a new actor to do more Batman films but not worry about continuity issues in the DCEU.
There is currently no word on where this Joker film would fit in on Warner Bros.’ schedule.