News broke last week that Warner Bros. wants to develop an origin-style Joker film and before eyes started to roll, Martin Scorsese was listed as a producer. That was seen as a huge grab for the studio and one of the major, if only, positives of the project. Now, THR is reporting that Warner Bros. will be looking to add more talent in Scorsese’s longtime collaborator Leonardo DiCaprio.
Sources say that Scorsese’s deal to produce isn’t finalized, but that they’ll be going for the highly-acclaimed actor — although no deal has been offered to DiCaprio just yet.
Adding Scorsese into the mix was about as left-field of a choice as a studio can get for a superhero movie. It’s one thing to bring on a pair of directors known for their work on television to steer your ship, it’s an entirely different thing to reel in a legendary filmmaker that has never touched such franchise-friendly material. But if the answer to the question of “Why Scorsese?” is DiCaprio himself, then it may be hard to complain.
Todd Phillips, best known for The Hangover series of films, is attached to direct in a standalone outing that could put a Warner Bros. superhero movie back into the front of the Oscar race as it did with Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, thanks to Scorsese and DiCaprio. That is, of course, Wonder Woman doesn’t do it first.
Caught in the mix is Jared Leto. After rumors of his potential departure following Suicide Squad — which actually did win an Oscar for its makeup and hairstyling — the actor was said to be all set for a return in a sequel as well as a spinoff film with Harley Quinn. With Margot Robbie having also worked with Scorsese on The Wolf of Wall Street, that only makes things more sticky. THR is reporting that Leto is unhappy with the idea of multiple Jokers and that he’s made it known to his CAA agents. Rival agency WME is using that to bring over Leto.
All this news collides with the rumors of Ben Affleck being replaced as Batman for the upcoming standalone film directed by Matt Reeves. Both Affleck and Warner Bros. have continually denied those rumors, but it’s also being reported that this Joker project could be part of a entirely new slate of movies that have nothing to do with the DCEU. That will surely be a game-changer in many ways.
But if all this potential confusion leads to a Scorsese-led Joker crime film, then perhaps it’s all worth it.
Keep an eye on Heroic Hollywood as more details on this come out.
6 Elseworlds Movies That DC Should Make For The Big Screen
Occasionally, there are times when comic book authors toss comic book continuity aside and straight-up create an alternate universe to tell brand new stories that bend the rules of the characters and radically change their settings as a side effect. DC calls these stories “Elseworlds,” and from the sound of things, DC is coming up with a plan to introduce that concept into their movie division with the standalone Joker movie set outside of the DC Extended Universe. The project, which has yet to be formally announced by Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, is set in the 1980s and is styled after movies like Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (fitting, considering that Scorsese is producing the project). It should be noted that the DCEU is still in active development on a Joker & Harley Quinn project, featuring Jared Leto and Margot Robbie reprising their roles from Suicide Squad, following that movie’s unexpected cliffhanger.
Whether or not having a mix of creator-driven and shared-universe-driven narratives get developed at the same time will work, or whether audiences will be confused by it, remains to be seen. It certainly has worked for DC’s animated movies (as evident by most movies being their own thing while some — like Justice League: War and Teen Titans: The Judas Contract — share the same setting), but in an age of cinematic universes, this might be harder to pull off. The DC Elseworlds Multiverse, as we’ll call it for the sake of this article, has a lot of source material it could draw upon to tell one-off stories. While the DCEU will continue tell one big story about the return of the so-called Age of Heroes, the DCEM should be able to take advantage of the nature of self-contained stories and go completely nuts with them, embracing their radical departure from the source material and telling the kinds of stories we could never see in a shared universe.
Here are 6 stories that we think need to be brought to the big screen as part of Warner Bros. and DC’s Elseworlds-style universe. Click Next to get started.