“You had my curiosity, but now you have my attention.” That Leonardo DiCaprio quote could be applied to the Joker origins film we found out about recently. When it was announced, I was curious at how a film that is separate from the DCEU could work. And did anyone really need a Joker film.
But now comes word that Warner Bros. is actually looking at DiCaprio to potentially fill the lead role. Considering that Martin Scorsese is producing, and the actor has appeared in five of his films, this couldn’t be a more perfect pairing. More on the story below.
THR was the first to break the news. According to their sources, they hope to use Scorsese’s name to lure in DiCaprio for the role of the Joker. Which seems to be in contrast with the original pitch, that the film would explore the Joker’s start and rise as a criminal in a hard boiled crime drama that is in the same vein as Taxi Driver.
However, WB hasn’t even made the offer to DiCaprio. What’s more, sources say Scorsese’s deal to produce isn’t even done yet. Which would make DiCaprio’s chances of signing on slim to none. However, if the deal goes through, the Academy Award winning actor would appear in a darker grittier telling of the Joker’s origins, which would be written and directed by Todd Phillips of The Hangover trilogy. If they can’t get DiCaprio, Phillips would want another A-lister to take the role. No word yet on who he is looking at as a possible replacement. Even so, this is an origins film, and DiCaprio, who is 41, appears to be too old to play the role of the young clown prince of crime.
As interesting as this deal sounds, it seems that not everybody is on board with this ambitious project. Jared Leto, who plays the current Joker in the DCEU, is against the idea of having multiple Jokers. In fact, he voiced his disapproval to his “CAA agents, and rival agency WME has been using the concern to court him.” Leto appears to still be signed on to appear in the Suicide Squad sequel and the recently announced Harley Quinn and Joker spinoff, at least for the time being.
But the announcement of a separate comic book universe couldn’t come at a worse time for DCEU fans. Starting with 2013’s Man of Steel, the DCEU has been hit with a series of disappointing films like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. This year’s Wonder Woman provided the much-needed lift the DCEU needed, but the upcoming Justice League has been rumored to be unwatchable. No word yet on if Joss Whedon’s repair on the script fixed any of these issues. But the Joker origins film would fly under a separate banner, which would allow the studio to create new and unique storylines that aren’t a part of the current DCEU.
So, since this is a bit of an untested product, they only way they can prove to audiences that this can work is if they swing for the fences. Getting a bunch of A-listers to work on the project is one way to go, but it’s no guarantee that it would work. That being side, it’s probably better that you get a team that has been collaborating for as long as DiCaprio and Scorsese have.
We’ll keep you posted on any developments should they come in.