It would have made the kind of smash announcement that Comic-Con and studios love, but the cats out of the bag over at Warner Bros: as recently suggested, the new Joker origin movie directed by Todd Phillips (“The Hangover” franchise) and starring Joaquin Phoenix has been greenlit and will start shooting this fall.
There’s already a Joker in the DC Universe played by Jared Leto you say, what the hell is going on? This untitled Joker film will be a stand-alone film that falls under a yet-to-be-announced banner of DC Comics that allows Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment to explore different aspects and sides of characters that falls outside of the current DCEU continuity. Got that?
READ MORE: Todd Philips’ Joker Film Expected To Shoot This Fall With Joaquin Phoenix & Small Budget
The film sound like it will be much smaller in scale, perhaps more character driven and will be budgeted around $55 million for a September production start date. For comparison’s sake, no film in the DC Cinematic Universe so far has cost less than the reported $140 million it cost to make “Wonder Woman” (assume the real number is 20% higher at least).
Not wanting to be tied down to franchises, Joaquin Phoenix previously turned down the super hero role of Marvel‘s “Doctor Strange” evidently not keen on signing up for dozens of appearances as the character. Perhaps this suggests that Phoenix has signed a much shorter deal and or is less worried about playing a villain and anti-hero, and or arguably more interesting character like the Joker.
READ MORE: Geoff Johns Stepping Down As DC Films Exec And Instead Will Write ‘Green Lantern Corps’
Following major shakeups over at DC Films, Geoff Johns relegated to the sidelines being one of the most major results of many, its been suggested that DC would scale back from announcing a long string of future films and may take each one one at a time, but the company — that also seems to be shooting a Margot Robbie-led “Harley Quinn” spin-off/”Birds Of Prey” film from the current universe (got that?) early next year — doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down.
READ MORE: Jared Leto’s Joker Is Getting His Own Standalone DCEU Film
DC Films currently has three official upcoming films. “Aquaman” which will have a presence at Comic-Con and lands in December of this year, “Shazam!” which arrives in March of 2019 and “Wonder Woman 84” set for a November 1, 2019 release date.
Personally, I think the idea of two Jokers existing at the same time is a bit ridiculous, and it feels like WB/DC Films are hedging their bets (and the Matt Reeves ‘Batman‘ movie connections seem to suggest as much), but maybe it’ll work and maybe this new banner is legitimately something more scaled back and darker.
Scott Silver will co-write the film with Phillips and sources say the story about the Joker becoming the criminal mastermind that he is today will take place in the ’80s and “have more of the look of a gritty crime drama than comic-book movie” according to THR who broke the news. Interestingly enough, all mention of Martin Scorsese—the exec producer whose name highlighted the project when it was first announced—is completely gone and new names are attached (though one being Scorsese’s ” The Wolf of Wall Street” producer Emma Tillinger Koskoff. Hand off?).
Complicating matters further, a Jared Leto-led Joker solo movie is also reportedly in the works.