Warner Bros.' recently announced Joker origin film may feature Batman's classic foe in a dark and realistic way, and as a kid. With the DCEU still riding high off Wonder Woman's success and looking forward to a Joss Whedon-assisted Justice League in the fall, the studio has made the surprising move to create DC films outside of it's already established shared universe. The studio plans to begin with a Joker origin film, making it a project to keep an eye on, as it will star a new actor in the role, be directed by Todd Phillips, and supposedly produced by Martin Scorsese.
The all-new origin story is believed to take place in the 1980s, and be "a gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film". As is usually the case with rumors, a new one recently lined up with this assessment, and also managed to tease a look far back into Joker's past.
MMA fighter-turned-actor Brendan Schaub was recently a guest on Joe Rogen Experience (via Batman-News) and during the interview, the topic of the Joker origin film was brought up. Schaub, citing second-hand information from Todd Phillips' agent, Todd Feldman, shared what he'd heard about the project. (Obviously this means the information should be taken only with a grain of salt, and while there is no proof whatsoever that this is the direction the film will take, it does make for some fun conjecture.)
"My boy Todd Feldman put this together with Todd Phillips. It’s dark. It’s like a dark Joker. As a kid, he had a permanent smile and everyone made fun of him. It’s like on the streets of Brooklyn. It’s super dark and real."
Again, given the degrees of separation at play here, Schaub's little tidbit is closer to an urban myth than an inside scoop on a movie that's currently in the earliest stages of development. Still, making Joker a victim of bullying could raise some eyebrows. Following a bullied kid's rise to become a psychotic killer and crime lord could make it a lightning rod for controversy, or it may result in the character being portrayed in a somewhat sympathetic light, which Joker is not.
Concerns over the necessity of a Joker origin film are valid, but the character's earlier days have been explored to some success in the comics, making this concept not nearly as outlandish as it seems.
Joker is currently in development and does not have a release date.