Warner Bros. is looking to grab a big name for their planned origin movie focusing on Batman villain The Joker.
Word broke a bit over a week ago that the studio was crafting a Joker origin film that would not be a part of the DCEU. The picture, which will be set in Gotham City in the early ’80s and is being described as a gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film, has The Hangover helmer Todd Phillips as director and co-writer. It was a bit of a surprise that Martin Scorsese was named as (possibly) one of the film’s producers, but now it’s a bit clearer why the studio wants him attached.
According to a report from THR, one of the major reasons to have Scorsese on board as producer is to attract Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio to the project. That’s right, WB wants DiCaprio to be The Joker. It isn’t very likely that the actor will go for it, considering he’s made his career by mostly working with directors he wants and avoiding blockbuster franchise fare. Still, you never know, there’s always the possibility that Scorsese, who he’s worked with on five films, does pull him in. And on the acting front, tackling a role like The Joker would certainly offer him something different to work with. If DiCaprio declines, expect another big name to enter the mix.
It’s still early days on the project and there’s been no official offer made to the high-profile star, but this does show just how high the studio is aiming when it comes to kicking off these stand-alone DC films. WB will be crafting a separate label for these projects, which will apparently offer up “non-traditional takes on the heroes and villains of DC”.
And Jared Leto isn’t too happy about it all. The actor was reportedly “caught off guard” by WB’s plans to craft another Joker film without him. He’s apparently expressed his concerns to his CAA agents, a factor that a rival agency, WME, is now using to convince him to sign with them. It’s certainly understandable that Leto may not be pleased with WB, considering his role as Joker in the ill-received Suicide Squad ended up in only a small amount of screen time and he’s set to reprise the role in two more films: a Suicide Squad sequel and a Joker and Harley Quinn movie.