Martin Scorsese and 'The Hangover' Director Todd Phillips Are Making a Joker Origin Story

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Martin Scorsese and Todd Phillips and The Joker
Photo: Mike Coppola, Francois Durand/Getty Images; Warner Bros. Animation

While Suicide Squadmade bank at the box office, it failed to capture the hearts of fans or critics -- with Jared Leto's performance as The Joker taking particular heat. But that doesn't mean DC and Warner Bros. are going to give up on the fan-favorite comic book baddie.


In what is possibly the most unlikely Hollywood team up in recent memory, Todd Phillips -- director of The Hangover -- is teaming up with Oscar-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese to bring the world a brand new Joker movie. Phillips is set to direct, while Scorsese has signed on to produce the project.
 

The film is planned as a standalone origin story for the maniacal Clown Prince of Crime, Deadline reports, and is supposed to be a dark, hard-boiled crime thriller set in a gritty 1980s version of Gotham City.

Phillips  -- who has written every film he's directed including Old School, Road Trip and Starsky & Hutch -- is penning the script with 8 Mile screenwriter Scott Silver, who was nominated for an Oscar in 2011 for co-writing The Fighter. 

Leto -- who is set to reprise his Joker in the Suicide Squad sequel as well as the upcoming Harley Quinn spin-off -- won't be playing the iconic villain in this iteration. Instead, the creative team is reportedly planning on looking for someone younger to take on the nefarious role.

Given its setting and gritty take on the character, many are speculating that Scorsese's involvement implies Warner Bros. is looking to pull The Joker standalone film away from its comic book legacy and place it in the bleak world of Scorsese's iconic crime dramas like Taxi Driver or Mean Streets.

The film will also be under a different banner for Warner Bros., meaning it won't be a part of the DC shared universe, which includes Suicide Squad, Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman and Justice League.

The project is still in its infancy, so there's no word yet on when fans might see the film hit theaters.

For more on all the different versions of The Joker who have graced the silver screen, check out the video below.