The world went crazy a few months back went word got out that DC/Warner Brothers was setting up a solo Joker film. The film would be a gritty crime drama rumored to be focused on the origin of the Clown Prince of Crime. Todd Phillips (The Hangover) signed on to direct the film, with Martin Scorsese producing. Since then we’ve seen a whole lot of developments that make this film even more intriguing.
A few weeks back it was confirmed that Joaquin Phoenix had signed on to play the Joker, after months of speculation that he was attached to the role. Scorsese stepped away from the project but Emma Tillinger Koskoff and Richard Baratta, who were both producers on Wolf of Wall Street, are producing and executive producing the film. THR has now reported that WB has set a release date of October 4th, 2019. The film is expected to begin filming at the start of next year, with a $55 million budget. Overall that’s a rather quick turnaround for this project, and something that could be rather intriguing.
DC/WB has had a hard time recently with making their films work. Each film has been a decent success in terms of box office. Justice League took in the least amount with $657 million worldwide. But the other recent films have taken in $100-200 million more. That being said, the films were all expected to make much more, and haven’t pleased many fans. (Aside from Wonder Woman.) DC/WB seems to be attempting to redirect it’s course with Aquaman, Wonder Woman 1984 and Shazam, all set to release in the next year or so. But it’s uncertain how well that will all work out.
Branching out a bit and creating films like this, that stand alone and separate from a cinematic universe, may help DC/WB significantly. Marvel grew out of solo films that slowly built up a universe, and DC tried to dive right in. Right now DC needs to reestablish a good relationship with fans and prove that they can create good material. A cinematic universe isn’t necessary for that. Just look at the Dark Knight Trilogy. That stood on it’s own and was an amazing success on multiple levels.
Whether “Joker,” the film’s official title, will be worth the risk, remains to be seen. But it is an interesting gamble as of now. We’ll see how things progress from here and continue to keep you update as more info comes out.