The news that DC and Warner Bros. are working on a new Batman spinoff movie (which will tell The Joker's origin story) is getting superhero movie fans buzzing. As usual, there's the usual range of opinion, with some fans all for it, others totally against it, and others either indifferent or ambivalent about the film, until they know more.
However, since this Joker origin movie (which is produced by Martin Scorsese and is being written/directed by The Hangover's Todd Phillips) is going to be kicking off an entire new line of standalone DC Comics movies, it's probably worth discussing the pros and cons of this inaugural film.
So: Is a Joker Origin Movie a Bad or Good Idea? Let's discuss.
Why It's A Good Idea
There are two simple realities that make this Joker origin movie a good idea:
- The Joker is one of the most exciting and compelling characters in fiction (comic books or otherwise).
- His origin story is one that's been alluded to in various non-canon storylines, but it's never been given a major spotlight - certainly not in the movies.
It's undeniable that there's potential here to take a mainstream character with real box office viability and turn him into a major box office success. The creative team involved with the film (Scorsese, Phillips, and 8 Mile's Scott Silver) is promising, and if there's nothing else you can say about the premise (hard-boiled crime film set in '80s Gotham), it's that it's unlike anything we've seen since Tim Burton's original 1989 Batman movie.
Depending on how the filmmakers approach to the film, there's also potential to do something really unorthodox and cinematically original - not to mention, a chance to finally give Joker the R-Rated treatment he deserves. A Joker movie could be a twisted and uncertain in its approach to character's true origins as a DC Comics lore has always been. An origin story that doesn't actually provide any real insight would be the biggest joke of all.prevnext
Why It's A Bad Idea
The inverse of the above is just as true: that The Joker is as exciting and compelling as he is, precisely because of the mystery and intrigue that surround him.
Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight embraced the idea of the villain being more of a force of chaos than a man, and as such, his origin story was a collection of traumatic accounts (taken from some iconic Batman stories), any which may or may not have been real. It allowed The Joker to be on the level of his costumed nemesis: more than a man. Jared Leto's Joker in Suicide Squad was much more a grounded, modern, LA gangster with some extravagant makeup - and fans didn't like that depiction nearly as much.0comments
The bottom line is that this Joker movie is in danger of doing what so many other franchises have done to great villains (especially since the 2000s): overexplain his backstory in attempt to "ground" or "humanize" him, and instead, ruin the mystery and intrigue that made the villain frightening and interesting in the first place.
This Joker movie is currently in the early stages of development, with an actor yet to be cast in the role. We'll keep you updated about any new developments. For more on the Batman franchise, visit our database page, below!prev