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Report: Martin Scorsese, Hangover director working on stand-alone Joker origins movie

And no, it won’t star Jared Leto

Suicide Squad - The Joker holding weapons in his hands
Jared Leto as The Joker in Suicide Squad.
Warner Bros. Pictures

The DC Extended Universe keeps expanding, and Martin Scorsese is reportedly looking to get involved.

A new report from Deadline indicates that Scorsese is working with director Todd Phillips (The Hangover) to produce a stand-alone Joker movie that will examine the villain’s origin story. Deadline is reporting that the movie will take place in an early ’80s Gotham and take on the tone of a “gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film.” This version of Gotham will apparently resemble the gritty New York City of Scorsese’s early work (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull), and be less similar to the fictional city found in DC’s Batman comics.

The most interesting aspect of the report is how this will relate to the DCEU at large. According to Deadline, this will be the “first film under a new banner that has yet to be named in which WB can expand the canon of DC properties and create unique storylines with different actors playing the iconic characters.” That means DC and Warner Bros. could create new Superman or Batman movies without the current actors playing those roles. If Ben Affleck were to stop playing Batman, this new branch of films could be a good way to introduce a new actor to portray the Caped Crusader.

Deadline is reporting that Jared Leto wouldn’t be involved in this Joker movie, as Warner Bros. would look for a younger actor to play the iconic villain. Leto will return for the Suicide Squad sequel, and will also play the Joker in the stand-alone Harley Quinn spinoff.

There is no estimated release date for the film just yet. Phillips is reportedly already working on the script, and it is in the earliest stages of development. Polygon has reached out to Warner Bros. and will update if more information becomes available.