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Martin Scorsese and Todd Phillips to unite for The Joker origins story

The Dark Knight

Story by Jack Foley

MARTIN Scorsese is reportedly about to team up with Todd Phillips (director of The Hangover movies) for a new film about the origins of legendary Batman villain The Joker.

According to Deadline, the project is a continuation of Warner Bros and DC’s Batman universe and will serve as a one-off that won’t be attached to any other iteration.

Phillips will co-write the film with Scott Silver (of 8 Mile and The Fighter fame).

According to the report, the intention is to make a “gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film” that would be set in Gotham City during the early ’80s, which would – in turn – feel less like a Batman film and more like the kind of work that producer Scorsese made around Taxi Driver and Raging Bull.

The project would mark the first film under a new WB banner that expands DC properties with new storylines and different actors. As such, it would re-launch The Joker character with a new, younger actor.

As yet, very little else is known other than the fact that the project is in the early stages of development. It isn’t even known when the film would be released.

Jared Leto most recently portrayed The Joker in David Ayers’ critically maligned Suicide Squad, which formed part of Warner Bros and DC’s ongoing Justice League universe.

But he has been portrayed on the big screen to iconic effect twice before: first by Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman and then – most notably – by the late Heath Ledger in Christopher Nolan’s 2008 masterpiece, The Dark Knight.

The decision to give the project to Phillips has created confusion among some fans, however, given the director’s track record for doing comedy. But he did, most recently, take the first steps towards more serious work with the Jonah Hill-Miles Teller comedy-drama War Dogs.

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