It has now been confirmed that DC's in-development Joker origins movie will be separate from the DC Extended Universe film continuity. Last month, news broke out that Warner Bros. and DC are working on a film that will explore the Clown Prince of Crime's backstory. The caveat? It will not feature the version of the supervillain played by Jared Leto in the DCEU and will otherwise be unconnected to the current series of live-action DC Comics movie adaptations.
Despite the initial confusion brought about by the news, the potential of the unknown Joker-centered project quickly piqued the interest of fans. The Hangover and War Dogs director Todd Phillips is attached to co-write and direct the film, with Martin Scorsese in talks to produce. Although WB's pipe dream about Leonardo DiCaprio starring in the Joker origins movie is highly unlikely to become a reality, production on the film is nevertheless expected to start as early as next year. Thanks to Johns, we also now have some official insight on the project's status.
During an extensive interview with Vulture regarding the future of WB and DC's upcoming movie slate, it was confirmed that the Joker origins film will be part of a new offshoot banner that does not, in any way, connect with the other films from the DCEU slate. Instead, they will be independent films that will open up opportunities for great standalone DC Comics adaptations to be made instead. Johns added that the official title of this DC film side label will be revealed "soon-ish."
This new information gives us more confidence about the project, as it seems like Johns and his WB/DC cohorts have a concrete plan regarding the Joker origins film and the new DC movie line that it will help launch. The company has received heat before for supposedly fast-tracking their DCEU projects to catch up on Marvel's Marvel Cinematic Universe' success. This upcoming plan, however, proves otherwise and is definitely a good move on their part, as it gives them the opportunity to be a pioneer of something different rather than just be a mere follower of other's business formula. Meanwhile, from fans' perspective, this could also mean great things ahead, offering a fresher approach to keeping the comic book/superhero movie genre alive and going strong.
How Johns and WB spin this new side label featuring the Joker origins film still remains to be seen. From the sound of it though, an announcement is imminent, which will hopefully give us an insight on how they are planning to effectively have the upcoming line and the DCEU exist simultaneously but separately, without confusing audiences.