Joker Origin Story To Use Plotline From The Killing Joke

The Joker solo film is still shrouded in mystery, but a new report reveals what the clown prince of crime's origin might be for the project.

The Joker origin film is being directed by Todd Phillips, and according to The Wrap, that origin will depict the Joker as a failed 1980s comedian who turns to crime after bombing time and time again.

This might explain why Phillips enlisted the help of Martin Scorsese, who is producing the project. Scorsese has tackled this subject matter before in the 1982 film King of Comedy, which starred Robert De Niro as a similar down on his luck comedian who couldn't turn things around. According to The Wrap's sources, there will be some references to that film in the Joker project.

That also has ties to the popular Joker tale The Killing Joke, which had a similar take on the character's origins as a struggling comedian who snapped after a bad day.

At the moment the film does not have anyone cast, though Joaquin Phoenix is in talks to star in the movie. His involvement would also sit quite well with the subject matter, as Phoenix has never had a problem playing flawed and at times destructive characters.

It fits within Phillips' wheelhouse as well, who wrote and directed the Hangover films. Those films often found laughs in the midst of dark scenarios, and this team the studio is assembling definitely fits that m.o.

The Joker origin film is part of a new division of DC films at Warner Bros. that don't fall within the established continuity of the previous DCEU films. That frees it from having to star the same actors or include references to other films in an attempt to world build, so Jared Leto's Joker will still exist in the DCEU despite Phoenix also playing the character in theaters.


There's currently no release date for the Joker origin film, though it is expected to start production sometime in mid-2018. That said, it is also reported that there could be delays, as Phillips and Scott Silver are currently working on the script.

Next up for DC is Aquaman, which hits theaters on December 21.