Joker: 10 1970s Comic Book Movies DC Should Make Next

If Joker gets to be Travis Bickle, why can't Wildcat be Rocky?

Wildcat Rocky
DC Comics/United Artists

Have DC movies finally found a formula that works for them? Mashing their iconic comic book characters into already existing movies.

Having successfully brought Shazam! (AKA original flavour Captain Marvel) to the big screen via a concept that essentially amounts to "let's just make Big, but now he's a superhero", DC have now taken things a step further with a version of the Joker's backstory that is made up of nothing but tropes, aesthetics and scenes from Martin Scorsese movies of the 1970s and early-80s (in particular Taxi Driver and The King Of Comedy).

And, hey, Joker has received a load of positive reviews and is a certified box office hit, so maybe that approach is the way forward?

With the rumour that Joker could be the first in a series of DC: Black Label movies - mid-budget standalone films with more focus on character-driven narratives, mature content and relevant social themes - why not look back to the decade whose classic movies were known for just those things?

In the spirit of Joker's "how about 'The Joker as Taxi Driver'?" pitch, then, here are ten more mash-ups of iconic DC characters and classic seventies movies that the comics giant could turn to if they're looking for their next hit.

10. The Riddler As Dirty Harry

Wildcat Rocky

Having reworked the Joker in the image of Travis Bickle, what other classic Batman antagonists might benefit from a 1970s makeover?

The Riddler is a character who often suffers in adaptations by being essentially being used as a sort of Joker-lite (witness Jim Carrey's performance in Batman Forever), but the world of the gritty 70s crime thriller could be the perfect environment for a Riddler story that focuses on the character's own unique identity, his love of puzzles and ciphers and using them to tease the authorities, while keeping him a shadowy enigma (pun intended).

A realistic reimagining of the Riddler would see him in the mould of one of the 1970s' most famed and feared real world villains, a serial killer who taunted the police with clues and puzzles as to his identity and forever evaded capture, all while creating a climate of fear on the streets of San Francisco: the Zodiac Killer.

Fortunately, one of the archetypal morally murky 70s thrillers uses a pretty transparent Zodiac expy in the form of Dirty Harry's villain Scorpio. Why not follow Joker's idea of a Bat-villain in a Batman-free Gotham and do Dirty Harry with Riddler as Scorpio?

The streets of 1971 Gotham are stalked by a mysterious killer who sends coded messages to the police and the press to taunt them over his identity. Only Gotham police detectives Harvey Bullock and Renee Montoya (standing in for the original movie's hard-edged, maverick, rule-breaking cop Harry Callahan and his rookie partner Chico Gonzalez) can stop him.


Loves ghost stories, mysteries and giant ape movies