Hot on the tail of the news that we're getting a new Joker origin movie (which has delighted almost as many people as it has upset), there's some information in the wild about some of The Joker's backstory, which is sure to be as divisive as the film itself.
The information comes from a strange source, courtesy of Brendan Schaub, the former MMA fighter who has made the move into Hollywood. He appeared on the latest Joe Rogan Experience (as spotted by Batman-News) where the conversation turned to Batman and Schaub revealed that he was friends with Todd Feldman, who is Todd Phillips’ agent. No doubt to the delight of Phillips, he then revealed a basic outline of the movie:
“My boy Todd Feldman put this together with Todd Phillips... It’s dark. It’s like a dark Joker. As a kid, he had a permanent smile and everyone made fun of him. It’s like on the streets of Brooklyn. It’s super dark and real.”
The "super dark and real" comment - as well as the location - seem to suggest that Deadline's talk of the origin movie being a gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime flick is accurate. So we can probably expect it to take a lead from Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and The King Of Comedy.
Slightly worryingly, that origin doesn't sound like the best idea. It sounds too much like demystification, for one, but it's also an issue because it seems to suggest that we will be invited to empathize with the character. That is not a good idea and seems to be a misreading of Mr J's popularity. We perversely like him, as fans, because of his mythology and the fact that he's a force of nature, as charismatic as he is appalling.
Forgive the assumption, but there can't be anyone who wants to see the Joker get the Anakin Skywalker treatment.
There's also something a little... dangerous, in the idea of The Joker's malevolence being put down to him being bullied. He's an unforgivable, murderous wretch and the idea that we'd be invited to forgive everything he's done because he was bullied is not a welcome one.
You can see Schaub's comments in the below video at the 1:03:32 mark...