Joker Origin Film and DC's Dark Franchise

Joker Origin Film and DC’s Dark Franchise

It’s not a secret that DC comics are trying their best to become as successful as Marvel when it comes to their cinematic universes. While some of their films were hits, most were misses. One of the things that upset fans greatly was Jared Leto’s take on the Joker. While the trailer suggested the Joker to be Suicide Squad’s baddie, Leto only had about fifteen minutes of screen time. Apart from that, most fans weren’t too thrilled about the portrayal. While Leto will remain the Joker in the DC Extended Universe, the company is set to create a new set of films. This will be under the banner of Elseworlds or DC Dark/Black. The idea is to create another way for creators to take famous characters and play around with them outside of the DCEU. The first film under this banner is set to be a Joker origin story. But what do we know so far?

Joaquin Phoenix

Joker Origin Film and DC's Dark Franchise Joaquin Phoenix

It’s not Jared Leto who will portray Batman’s antagonist. While Leonardo DiCaprio was apparently the studio’s first choice, they probably end up with Joaquin Phoenix. It is rumoured that Phoenix has signed the contracts, but the actor is notoriously private. In interviews asking him about the matter, Phoenix either deflected the question or refused to answer. It would be interesting to see Phoenix as the Joker. The origin film will be a lot darker than what we’re used to from the DCEU (while those films can be pretty dark). Phoenix has proven he can be a great villain (Gladiator, anyone?) and apparently he was very close to portraying Marvel’s Doctor Strange.

Leto will continue to star as the Joker in his own Joker film, as well as a film about Harley Quinn and the Joker.

The Killing Joke

Joker Origin Film and DC's Dark Franchise The Killing Joke

While not much is known about the actual film, the story is expected to use major elements from Alan Moore’s comic The Killing Joke. It would probably center around the Joker being a failed comedian who falls into a vat of chemicals. While it is an interesting take, what makes the character so appealing is the fact that there is no true origin story. Reports mentioned that the film will be set in the 80s, just like the upcoming Wonder Woman film.

The film will be written and directed by Todd Philips, who is known for his work on The Hangover. The film apparently has a very low budget, as far as comic films go. It is budgeted around $50-55 million dollars. For comparison, Infinity War, the most expensive superhero film ever made, cost around $400 million dollars to make. This is not bad news however. It forces the creators to be well, creative and can enhance the gritty narrative they will probably aim for. The film is expected to have an R-rating, which will attract a more mature audience. But as Logan and Deadpool showed, that can certainly work in its favour.

When will it come out?

Warner Bros apparently wants to start production in September of this year in New York City. While a release date is not yet known, this film does have a high priority for Warner Bros. That means we could potentially see a 2019 release date.


Are you excited for a dark Joker origin story? And do you think Joaquin Phoenix will do the role justice or do you prefer Jared Leto? Let us know!



Article written by Ingrid

Ingrid is the twenty-something owner of The Sassologist, who loves everything that has to do with pop culture. While she is one of many who is in the process of writing a novel, she is also currently in denial over not being a witch. Her Hogwarts letter has yet to arrive. In the meantime she writes about pop culture and dreams about unicorns.

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