Todd Phillips' Joker Origin Movie Draws Inspiration From Two Classic Sources

When Martin Scorsese's name was attached early on to Todd Phillips' Joker origin movie, it only made sense if we thought Leonardo DiCaprio was being sought to star in it. But we know that's not the case, and although Joaquin Phoenix denies knowing anything about it, he's the guy reportedly in talks for the role. But now a new report from The Wrap sheds light on another reason for Scorsese's involvement.

Apparently, Phillips' storyline will have the Joker portrayed as a failed comedian in the 1980s who becomes a crime boss in Gotham, bearing echoes of Scorsese's The King of Comedy. It's also very similar to Alan Moore's classic graphic novel, The Killing Joke, considered by most to be the definitive Joker origin story. In the comic, Joker is a standup comedian who has a really awful day, and turns to crime just to be able to feed his family.  Phillips is co-writing the script with 8 Mile writer Scott Silver, and the film is expected to be outside of DCEU continuity for some strange reason.

I get that DC publishes comics outside of continuity all of the time but movies are different and so is the audience. There's no reason why this storyline couldn't have been done within the DCEU. But it's hard to argue with names like Scorsese, Phillips, and Phoenix. Audiences may not understand why this Joker isn't being played by Jared Leto but they'll show up for a DC Comics film with those names attached.