The Joke’s On Scorsese
Martin Scorsese is to produce a new film about The Joker.
Warner Bros and DC are both developing this spinoff of the Batman universe, but expect it to be a hard-boiled crime story along the lines of Scorsese’s Raging Bull, Mean Streets and Taxi Driver. According to Deadline, that’s the route which is being taken by the filmmakers.
Todd Phillips, helmer of War Dogs and three The Hangover movies, is directing and co-writing the project alongside 8 Mile and The Mod Squad‘s Scott Silver.
The Joker has, of course, previously been played by Jack Nicholson, the late Heath Ledger and most recently Jared Leto. Don’t expect to see Leto on board this one – apparently the character is to be played by a younger actor. Leto is reprising the role for the Suicide Squad sequel and the Harley Quinn spinoff.
Hopefully Scorsese will have a huge say in the development of the character and storyline. At the same time, box office success obviously depends on the casting of The Joker. Everyone naturally wants an actor who can do the character proud, but this is also a very complex figure – especially when the storyline is exploring the character’s origins. So he’s going to have a tall order to fill.
It will be incredibly interesting to place this iconic villain, who’s been played by three Hollywood heavy hitters, into the context of a gritty crime story. The idea is certainly a bold move, but with the Scorsese’s influence and a strong lead actor, it just may work.