In a bizarre news that seems to have kind of shaken the comic book world, Warner Bros. is planning an origin story of its most prized and iconic Batman villain The Joker. Martin Scorsese looks set to produce the flick with Todd Philips of The Hangover fame currently attached to writing the script. The news seems to be quite reliable as it was broken by Deadline earlier today and has been picked up by multiple outlets as of this writing.
What’s perhaps most interesting though is that this movie, set in the past, could actually not be attached to the DCEU. While there’s no formal confirmation on this matter, a statement from the report seems to indicate as such. In their report, Deadline states:
This will be the first film under a new banner that has yet to be named in which WB can expand the canon of DC properties and create unique storylines with different actors playing the iconic characters.
The prospect of unique storylines seems to indicate Warner Bros. is going the Multiverse route which ended up making the comics a mess, a mess so big it had to be cleaned up by a lengthy story arc called Infinite Crisis that served to address the existence of different variations and versions of Batman, Superman and countless other characters that had spiraled out from a myriad of writers. Currently, the DC Universe in motion pictures and television is divided into the following worlds:
- The DCEU, arguably its most popular universe comprising of all DC movies released since Man of Steel. It includes Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, and the upcoming Justice League, Aquaman and The Flash movies.
- The DC TV universe, which comprises of DC’s TV shows Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl. Due to its rather isolated timeline and the fact that it deals with much younger characters, it is unclear as of now whether Gotham is still a part of the same universe.
- The DC Animated Universe which includes the Batman and Justice League along with several standalone features, generally believed to be a part of the same universe.
A new actor other than Jared Leto is set to be cast for the titular role, which will be a younger version of the Joker in his early days. The movie, in true Scorsese fashion, looks to be set in the raging 80s evoking such gritty and hard-boiled Scorsese films of the era as Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. Deadline finally reports that the film is already being written although there’s no sight of a release window yet.
This new movie would serve to create a schism in the existing DCEU and spiral out its own universe of standalone stories. Or, DC may choose to ditch the model of shared universes entirely and go the comics route, creating standalone disconnected stories after another just as it did in the days when it made its Superman and Batman movies, which stayed unrelated throughout.
Or perhaps we’re all jumping the gun here and this new movie, while starring a different actor, could still belong to the DCEU only set in a different time period. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time a movie studio switched actors for the same character, and an important one, within the shared universe – Marvel themselves previously had Ed Norton play the titular role in The Incredible Hulk only to have him replaced by Mark Ruffalo over creative differences. Ruffalo has donned the green mo-cap suit since The Avengers and now continues to do so.
Stay tuned for more updates on the DC and Marvel movies at Appocalypse