DC Comics is putting together a stand-alone Joker origin-story film: eh or nope?

The Prince of Wales attends the launch of the annual State of the World's Plants report

I think we can all agree, as a society, that Heath Ledger was the best Joker, right? No disrespect to Jack Nicholson, the Joker of my youth. I liked Jack’s cartoonish Joker and I appreciated the origin story that Tim Burton gave us. But in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, Heath’s Joker was so powerful, so terrifying, so brilliant because he did not have an origin story and because he wasn’t played as a cartoon. Heath’s Joker was a terrorist, a nihilist, a psychopath/philosopher. It was brilliant, all of it. Jared Leto’s Joker came and pissed all over the character in Suicide Squad, but I guess Hollywood is still trying to figure it out. There’s a rumor going around the trade papers that Todds Phillips and Martin Scorsese are putting together a Joker origin film. Hmm…

The Joker may be getting his own origin tale. Sources tell Variety that “War Dogs” and “The Hangover” director Todd Phillips is in talks to co-write and direct an untitled movie centered on the origins of the most iconic Batman villain, the Joker. Martin Scorsese is in talks to have some sort of role on the film, but it’s currently unknown what that role would be.

This yet-to-be announced new banner under DC Comics would give the studio the opportunity to expand the canon with unique story angles that aren’t included in its current cinematic universe.

Scott Silver will join Phillips as a co-writer on the film, which will delve into what it took for the Joker to become to be a mastermind criminal. Sources say the story will take place in the ’80s and have more of the look of a gritty crime drama than comic book movie, which had a lot to do with getting Scorsese’s commitment to the project. Jared Leto most recently played the Clown Prince of Crime in “Suicide Squad” and is likely to reprise that role in “Suicide Squad 2,” but will not be featured in this film, as Phillips will look to cast someone else.

[From Variety]

Do you trust Todd Phillips – best known for The Hangover franchise – to helm this film? Do you trust Marty to executive produce it? Given what we know about both directors, I would say that there’s a good chance that the Joker will be foul-mouthed, a lapsed Catholic, and heavily into Christian imagery and iconography. So, basically, #NotMyJoker.

The Prince of Wales attends the launch of the annual State of the World's Plants report

Photos courtesy of WENN, DC Comics.

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30 Responses to “DC Comics is putting together a stand-alone Joker origin-story film: eh or nope?”

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  1. The Original Mia says:


  2. Sayrah says:

    Ugh are we going to have to see a kid getting his face cut into a permanent smile by a psycho father? Hard pass

  3. cr says:

    “Wanna know how I got these scars?”

  4. Ravensdaughter says:

    In the TMI column.
    Casting the lead would be critical. Heath Ledger was the GOAT Joker; Jack was campy and murderous, and a solid honorable mention goes to Jared Leto.
    Still, a little bit of psychotic goes a long way. As a supporting character…creepy…as a lead with a life story…way too creepy.

  5. Incredulous says:

    From a storytelling perspective, that sounds dumb and unnecessary so of course it’s going to happen.

    Also, Mark Hamill Joker best Joker.

  6. Mia4s says:

    All kinds of nope and no way. The best Joker (Ledger’s) messed around with and refused to reveal his origin. That was perfect. Magic.

    It’s a similar problem to the Han Solo movie. Whatever they come up with will not be as good as your own imagination. It cheapens the character.

    Plus Leto was crap. The character needs a rest.

  7. kimbers says:

    Nah….pretty tired of comic movies

  8. Nicole says:

    Heath will always be my Joker (RIP Heath). It was just crazy enough tip toeing between weird sanity and madness. Nothing will top it for me.
    Also I cannot stand Leto and his antics and his Joker was the worst.
    Maybe DC should focus on their terrible DCEU and their beyond problematic DCAU. Because they are in a constant state of NOPE

  9. ElleBee says:

    Any actor with a semblence of self respect and preservation would leave this alone. Heath’s joker was outstanding and not easily forgotten. They should leave that character alone for at least another decade.

    Also unlike Marvel Studio that seems to have a clear path marked, DC and the studios associated with it just seem to be throwing shit at the blockbuster wall and hoping that it sticks

  10. Lilyfield says:


    DC has already announced plans for so many movies. I wish they would just focus on the only one that matters… NIGHTWING.

    • Esmerelda says:


      But I’m dreading a DCEU movie, they’ll ruin the character for sure :/
      On the other hand, it should be fascinating to follow the casting process that has to select ‘dat @ss’ 😀

  11. Olive says:


    this fandom is obnoxious. There’s a girl in my neighborhood who dresses up like Harley Quinn every day. Saw her 3 times last week, both times with red & blue pigtails and one leg red, one leg blue pants and some comic book shirt. Such second hand embarrassment.

  12. Peanutbuttr says:

    The seminal Joker origin story, the Killing Joke, was already made into an animated feature. It was already a problematic story based on what they did to Batgirl but they had to add that love scene…

  13. Sage says:

    Yes, I want to see a it and Jack was the best Joker.

  14. LadyT says:

    Ugh- it’s still such a gut punch that Heath Ledger is gone.

  15. Veronica says:

    Call me pretentious, but I thought part of what made the Joker interesting in that universe was his lack of backstory. He’s really more of a concept than a person as a character. Just a lot of animus and chaotic id flitting from one idea to the next.

  16. Mari says:

    Heath Ledger was good as the joker, but hi’s way overrated.
    I’m not saying Leto should say yes to this, don’t get me wrong. I’m tired only to think about him making the news again because oh he is so method and need to do wierd inappropriate shit.

  17. Ayra. says:

    No thank you.

  18. Abby says:

    Ahh leave Heath as the joker. I have no interest in this movie. None. I’m really tired of comic book movies. And the Nolan trio is really up there in my all-time favorite movies. I’m not the target demographic here, but I loved them.

  19. ChristineM says:

    Heath is always the BEST joker in my book…

    I’m not sure I’d be on board with this crew doing an origin story but I think if someone did do an origin, they really need to look at the kid who does the Joker on the Gotham series, Cameron Monaghan. Not since Heath have I seen anyone else do justice to the character.

    my two cents 🙂

  20. Brittany says:

    Heath was great, sure, but the near deification of him as Joker is a little tiring and I wonder how much of it has to do with his death.

    I enjoyed Leto’s joker.

  21. ash says:

    im waiting for the dread head joker (from the beloved cartoon series that birthed harley quinn)….. and a tall but slender biracial man or POC man should play him