What a Non-Continuity Joker Origin Movie Could Lead to
We had a surprising announcement in the superhero film world yesterday - The Joker is getting his own origin movie. You totally wanted to know how he got those tattoos, right?
Yeah, it’s debatable whether anyone was really clamoring for a Joker origin movie, and there are certainly plenty of characters from the DC Comics mythos to pull from that haven’t had their chance to shine on the big screen, but the news also revealed something interesting. Warner Bros. is creating a DC banner for a new series of films outside the current continuity. Matt Reeves appeared to be backing that up when he suggested in a radio interview that his Batman movie would be stand-alone and outside of continuity as well, though he has since retracted that to clarify he meant it wouldn't be full of cameos.
While we’ve seen the Joker brought to life tons, both in live-action and animation, Deadline’s report specifies that this new incarnation would not be connected to Jared Leto’s recent spin in the purple pants for Suicide Squad. Leto wouldn’t even star and it’s meant to be set in the 1980s. Deadline writes, “This will be the first film under a new banner that has yet to be named in which WB can expand the canon of DC properties and create unique storylines with different actors playing the iconic characters.” Sound like anything to you?
It sounds a lot like DC Comics’ Elseworlds, an imprint from the publisher that allowed creators to tell stories outside the main continuity. Especially when you consider The Flash’s solo film was recently altered to include the word “Flashpoint,” and if this means Warner Bros. is heading away from their continuity, “Thank Hera!”
Not every superhero movie needs to be a giant CGI-fest. The Deadline report mentioned the Joker origin would lean towards a Martin Scorsese (who’s producing) type of feel but the possibilities are almost endless if you break from the mold. Wonder Woman’s wartime setting definitely set it apart from the other recent DC films, so what about a 1940s set Justice Society of America? A 1980s Teen Titans film that was everything we hoped X-Men: Apocalypse would be but wasn’t? Legion of Super Heroes set in the future?? Hello, Megan!
Of course timeframes aren’t the only flexibility here. Different genres are just begging to be explored. For a time Guillermo del Toro was working on a horror/supernatural Justice League Dark movie which sounded amazing but there’s plenty to pull from there, especially if you dip into DC’s Vertigo imprint. And what about actual kids' movies? The DC Super Hero Girls are a huge hit, and something in that vein could open up a whole new series of films. Above all, breaking out from continuity allows characters to shine who wouldn’t otherwise fit in with the current gang. Yeah, Detective Chimp is fantastic but Ben Affleck’s Batman may not be prepared for that particular meeting.
Even if Flashpoint alters the current continuity, does this news mean the shared universe is gone for good? Let’s not count it out. Deadline reminds us Leto will reprise his role in the Suicide Squad sequel and the Harley Quinn spinoff. Your mileage may vary on Suicide Squad but Margot Robbie made a great Harley and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was pretty spot on. That said, Wizard World are longtime members of the Booster Gold Fan Club™ and will be there for him opening day if Warners just says yes to a big-screen bow.
Images: DC Comics