No you didn't dream it, Warner Bros really are making a stand-alone origin movie for The Joker, The Hangover's Todd Phillips is writing it (along with 8 Miles' Scott Silver) and Martin Scorsese might be on board to produce.
Just when you thought you were out, they pull you back in.
The news comes courtesy of Deadline, and states that the film will be an origin story that won't be attached to any other iteration - so no prequels for Jared Leto's turbo-juggalo, or Heath Ledger's agent of chaos or even Jack Nicholson's small-time thief turned clown prince. All of that is good, particularly as it means we could get something closer to the seminal The Killing Joke arc.
Leto will not return for the film, which, most intriguingly of all is set outside of the mainline DCEU. Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr, says this new film “will launch the character with a different actor, possibly younger. The intention is to make a gritty and 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.”
While the idea of a Joker movie is good, there are some red flags there. Some fans will inevitably turn their nose up at "gritty and grounded" - which are basically the buzzwords Warner Bros throw out to try and make people think of Christopher Nolan's work. Others will balk at it not being a DC movie - because, believe it or not, DC fans actually want a DC movie.
And most oddly of all, The King Of Comedy and Raging Bull are not "hard-boiled crime films". But then, if we're going to get a satiricial black comedy - which is what Scorsese was ACTUALLY making during the 80s predominantly - that actually sounds like a great idea. And with Phillips co-writing, there's probably a lot of scope for comedy.
The other intriguing thing about this story is that Warner Bros are setting out their stall to expand the universe into multiverse movies away from the DCEU. That should be music to the ears of cynics of the established timeline, but also to everyone else as it means we could get any number of DC movies that don't have to stay bogged down in already established lore and narrative.
In other words, we could have a Superman: Red Son, a Long Halloween with an entirely different Batman - hell, even a fourth Dark Knight trilogy movie... There is now nothing that is off the table.
All that remains to be seen now is who gets to fill the Joker's new shoes.