An origin-story movie about the DC Comics supervillain the Joker reportedly is in the early stages at Warner Bros.
Deadline.com reported that Todd Phillips, who directed the 2009-2013 “Hangover” comedy trilogy and co-wrote the latter two, has been hired to direct the film, and has already begun writing the script with Scott Silver (“The Fighter”). Martin Scorsese and Phillips will serve as producers, the industry trade site said.
Deadline said the movie will be the first under a new ancillary brand of Warner Bros.’ DC Comics universe, not necessarily using the same actors or continuity as in other DC superhero films. This initial entry would take place in early 1980s Gotham City and capture the feel of a gritty Scorsese saga such as his 1976 “Taxi Driver.”
The Joker, Batman’s archnemesis, has been played on screen by Cesar Romero in the comedic 1966 TV-spinoff movie “Batman,” and more dramatically by Jack Nicholson in 1989’s “Batman”; Heath Ledger, who won a posthumous Oscar for “The Dark Knight” (2008), and Jared Leto in last year’s “Suicide Squad.”
Introduced in “Batman” #1 (cover-dated Spring 1940) in a disputed collaboration involving character co-creator Bob Kane, writer co-creator Bill Finger and artist Jerry Robinson, the Joker has had details of his origin story change throughout the years. Remaining consistent is a plunge into a vat of chemicals being responsible for his green hair and unearthly pallor.