An origin movie about The Joker is in the works without Jared Leto -- and Martin Scorsese is involved

The dark knight jokerWarner Bros.Heath Ledger won an Oscar for his performance as The Joker in ‘The Dark Knight.’

Warner Bros. is working on an origin movie on the legendary DC Comics villain The Joker. But here’s the interesting twist — it will be cowritten and directed by Todd Phillips and produced by Martin Scorsese.

It’s a random pairing that perhaps only the Clown Prince of Crime could fully appreciate: the director known best for making bro comedies like “The Hangover” movies and “Old School” teaming up with one of the greatest filmmakers who ever lived.

According to Deadline, Phillips is cowriting the script with Scott Silver (“8 Mile”) and is producing the movie alongside Scorsese. The Joker origin movie will be the first title in a spin-off of Warner Bros.’ DC Comics Extended Universe that will delve deeper into the DC catalogue to focus on iconic characters.

Having The Joker kick things off is a smart choice by Warner Bros./DC. The character continues to fascinate audiences through the decades, from the memorable performances given on the big screen by Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger (who won a posthumous best supporting actor Oscar) to Mark Hamill voicing the character for years.

And though the current holder of the outlandish character, Jared Leto, will continue on playing The Joker in the sequel to “Suicide Squad” and a Harley Quinn spinoff movie, he will not be playing him in the origin movie.

According to Deadline, a different actor, possibly younger, will play the role.

Phillips and Silver are currently writing the movie, which Deadline said is intended to be a “grounded hard-boiled crime film set in early-’80s Gotham City that isn’t meant to feel like a DC movie as much as one of Scorsese’s films from that era, like ‘Taxi Driver,’ ‘Raging Bull’ or ‘The King Of Comedy.'”

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