The Hollywood Reporter has revealed Warner Bros. has officially greenlit the standalone Joker origin movie that will be separate from the current DC cinematic universe. In addition, Joaquin Phoenix who has been rumored for the role has officially finalized his deal to star as the Clown Prince of Crime.
Last August, it was reported that Todd Phillips (The Hangover) was set to direct from a script co-written by Scott Silver (8 Mile) and himself and that he’d also produce the film alongside legendary director Martin Scorsese. The latest report from the trade makes no mention of Scorsese but does confirm The Wolf of Wall Street producer Emma Tillinger Koskoff is on board with Richard Baratta serving as executive producer.
Official plot details are still under wraps but the Joker origin film is to be a gritty and grounded crime film set in 1980s Gotham City, separate from DC’s current shared cinematic universe in an effort to create new and unique storylines as the studio expands DC canon. The story is rumored to feature the Clown Prince of Crime as a failed 1980s comedian who becomes The Joker after bombing with audiences, a deliberate nod to Martin Scorsese’s 1982 film The King of Comedy about a delusional comedian.
The studio has officially described the film as an “exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.” Production on the project is set to get underway this September in New York City with a budget of $55 million.
Stay tuned to Heroic Hollywood for the latest news on the future of DC Films as we learn it.