Theory: JOKER Origin Movie Based On 'Man Who Laughs'

Warning: Potential SPOILERS for the Joker origin movie

The Joker Origin Movie may go deeper than fans expect, combining the story that inspired the villain with some Goodfellas drama. We have a theory that suggests Todd Phillips may be shaping the original novel The Man Who Laughs into a modern crime story, depicting a new Brooklyn origin for The Joker, long before the caped crusader ever showed up.

And believe us, when taking a closer look at the rumored cast of this Joker movie, all the clues and talent attached finally started to make sense. Not to mention confirming that the filmmakers are staying true to the origins of the DC supervillain. Just... not the way fans will expect.

A fake-out Joker himself would appreciate - and the main reason this Joker movie just got a LOT more interesting.

What We Know Of the Joker Origin Movie's Plot

We would urge very reader to get the details on the rumored characters of the Joker origin movie for themselves, including the legendary actor (and famed Scorsese collaborator) Robert De Niro's apparent DC movie role. But for now, we'll outline the main players - offered with only speculation into how these described characters relate to star Joaquin Phoenix's lead.

The breakdown begins with 'Penny,' a Caucasian woman aged old enough to play Phoenix's mother who has fallen from her younger, more beautiful days (and now lives with "her grown son who just moved back home"). Then there's 'Sophie Dumond,' a hardened, single mother who sees how the lower classes struggle beneath the wealthy. Theorized to be a love interest for Phoenix's lead, as well.

Toss in a pair of detectives from a New York/Gotham City setting, and some colorful working class players, and a story takes shape. If not a story... then at least a tone: lower-class characters from the streets of Gotham, or New York. But the small details used to set the tone may hint at a story already seen on film.

UPDATE: According to THR, the studio describes the film as "exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale." Which definitely falls in line with our theory.

The Man Who Laughs: Joker's Actual Secret Origin

The most devoted comic book historians will have heard of The Man Who Laughs, a 1928 film based on Victor Hugo's French novel L'Homme qui rit. While not as well-regarded as Hugo's Les Misérables, the film adaptation earned its place in history for inspiring a wave of horror films... and inspiring the visual design of The Joker, thanks to its star Conrad Veidt.

RELATED: Every Update On The Joker Origin Movie

Set in 17th-Century England, the story follows the young boy Gwynplaine, disfigured and tossed aside, as he grows to adulthood alongside fellow orphan Dea. Once grown and courted by a wealthy admirer in King James's court, the truth comes out - revealing the grinning hero's true parentage and sudden ascent to a seat of power.

Comic fans may know the film and character best for his oversized dentures and grin, confirmed to have informed the original design of DC's Joker. And examining the story, themes, and colorful characters of The Man Who Laughs, the story that launched Batman's greatest enemy may now be the story turned to for the Joker origin movie..

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Key Release Dates
  • The Joker release date:
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