Martin Scorsese has come on board to produce an origin film of The Joker for Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Entertainment with The Hangover’s Todd Phillips on board to direct. Phillips will co-write the screenplay with Scott Silver (8 Mile, The Fighter).
Is Phillips really the best person to direct this film? For all the talk about Rotten Tomatoes making or breaking a movie, there’s only two films marked as Certified Fresh for Phillips: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006) and The Hangover (2009). I’m not even sure that Silver’s inclusion in writing the film is enough to raise my already-low expectations.
Warner Bros. is expected to produce the film under an entirely new banner so as to be able to expand DC properties while getting new actors playing notable characters. This comes at a time when nobody knows if Justice League will follow in Wonder Woman‘s success.
The Joker has previously been portrayed on screen by Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, and Jared Leto. Mark Hamill voiced The Joker for Batman: The Animated Series and various animated spin-offs. Leto is not expected to reprise the character for the film. Instead, reports suggest that the studio will likely go younger. In that case, why not cast Cameron Monaghan? After all, he played Jerome Valeska in Gotham on Fox.
Deadline first reported the news and says that the “intention is to make a gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film set in early-’80s Gotham City that isn’t meant to feel like a DC movie as much as one of Scorsese’s films from that era, like Taxi Driver, Raging Bull or The King Of Comedy.”
Umm. Wait. A DC movie that doesn’t feel like a DC movie? Why didn’t you say so?!? (/sarcasm)
Maybe having Martin Scorsese on board can help to right DC in the best direction but get Todd Phillips as far away from this. Phillips isn’t the answer and anyone who watched The Hangover Part 2 and The Hangover 3 can tell you this. It may look like it’s a good film on paper but who is to say what will actually happen when filming begins.