If you told me that the guy who directed The Hangover, Martin Scorsese, and the writer of 8 Mile were all going to make a movie together I would laugh in your face. If you then told me that movie was going to be a Joker origin story, I would slap you for thinking I was so foolish to believe such a thing.
Well, time to slap someone.
Per a Deadline exclusive, that ridiculousness is a real thing. Scorsese will produce in tandem with Todd Philipps (The Hangover), with Philipps directing and co-writing with Scott Silver (8 Mile). The story is said to be a gritty and grounded tale, set in 80’s Gotham. It will be an entirely standalone interpretation, separate from the (terrible) Jared Leto Joker and even the (good) Jack Nicholson Joker and (phenomenal) Heath Ledger Joker. The idea, it appears, is to make it in the style of a Scorsese crime flick, a la The Departed or Taxi Driver.
Considering it is meant to be an origin story, it should be expected to see a younger actor portraying the infamous character. It will be interesting to see how the script portrays the Joker and more so, how the actor will inhabit and make it their own. Topping Ledger’s Joker is nigh on impossible, with an incessant amount of ticks and particular details that rounded the character into one with no need for an origin. The Ledger Joker was its own. The Nicholson Joker is less incredible but still stands tall, while Leto’s Joker can’t even beat the voice interpretation of Mark Hamill.
With the talent involved, it would be safe to expect a Joker more closely related to the Ledger Joker, as the setting will be more reminiscent of Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. I have no idea how they can make it different from that Joker, but hopefully a mind like Scorsese can push it in the right, yet unique direction.
A final thought: one of the great things about Ledger’s Joker, as I said above, is that he didn’t need an origin. You got tiny tidbits throughout TDK about his past, but even those could have been a bunch of hoobaloo imaginary stories The Joker made up to add to his persona and image. But it didn’t matter either way, it was such an engrossing performance and clearly meant to be a part of this singular story, that his backstory didn’t matter. I don’t care why he became that way, just that his way was in total opposition to Batman. His way was chaos. Do you really need a reason for that?