After Suicide Squad, no one was really jumping for more of Jared Leto as the Joker. It was such an odd take on the character, devoid of many of the eccentricities that made the character great. Back in February, the strangest news arose, with talk that Joaquin Phoenix was in consideration to play the Joker in a off-shoot, more grounded film (See the original report here). A character piece that would see the unlikeliest of director, Todd Phillips (Who did the Hangover films), tell a smaller and more intimate story about the Clown Prince of Crime.
The film will be the first film of a new film branch of the DC Extended Universe, an off-shoot label that will focus on smaller, darker, and riskier projects. Reportedly this will be titled DC Dark or DC Black, but today Warner Bros. was sure to confirm that whatever continuity it will be apart of it, this film is happening. Officially, the film has now been given the title Joker, will start filming in September, and will hit theaters October 4, 2019. Phoenix has also been officially confirmed and a script is confirmed to be completed. With Martin Scorcese producing, there are also reports that Robert De Niro in be considered for a role in the film as well.
Between an actor of Phoenix’s caliber, Scorcese backing the film (Possibly explaining De Niro’s potential involvement), and just a completely different focus of style and tone being promised, perhaps Warner Bros. finally got the message that what they were doing with the DCEU wasn’t working. With my hopes high for this film, it’s going to be interesting to see if Phillips follows in the footsteps of directors like Adam McKay or James Gunn who made remarkable transitions from the comedy and horror genres to character dramas and superhero ensembles, respectively. For now, this is a story rooted in your own expectations. Admit it…you have some potentially high ones as well. Stay tuned!