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Cast This: The Joker (Origin movie)

08.30.2017

While Marvel has enjoyed monumental prosperity by presenting their comic characters in a relatively cohesive movie universe, their "Distinguished Competition" hasn't been quite as fortunate so far. Warner Bros. (which owns DC Comics) made an attempt to introduce several major characters into a shared world by springboarding from MAN OF STEEL, resulting in BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, SUICIDE SQUAD and WONDER WOMAN -- all financial successes, but not necessarily comprehensively satisfying to fans.

The all-star superhero gathering JUSTICE LEAGUE looms on the horizon and AQUAMAN swims into theaters next year, but THE FLASH has stumbled along the road to development, there's been a flurry of confusion surrounding the new BATMAN movie(s), and things have been fairly quiet on GREEN LANTERN CORPS and Joss Whedon's BATGIRL (possibly in part from his recent PR spotlight).

On top of that, the plan to send Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn on an adventure with fellow bad girls Catwoman and Poison Ivy in GOTHAM CITY SIRENS has been put aside in favor of reteaming her with Jared Leto's Joker from SUICIDE SQUAD.

But Warner Bros. is doubling down on the Clown Prince of Crime himself -- in addition to that recently proposed Harley/Joker movie from Glenn Ficarra and John Requa ("This Is Us" and CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE), the studio is now planning to focus on the character in an origin story that will be completely unrelated to the tattooed and chrome-toothed version of the DCEU.

Potentially similar to DC Comics' "Elseworlds" variants, this standalone story of the Dark Knight's iconic arch-rival is being prepared by Todd Phillips (THE HANGOVER), Scott Silver (8 MILE) and none other than filmmaking legend Martin Scorsese with the intention of delivering an alternate screen version of everyone's favorite smiling psychopath, detailing his rise to homicidal notoriety in a "gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film set in early-80's Gotham City."

By now almost everyone is familiar with the Joker -- his green hair, pale skin and wicked grin have made him almost as globally recognizable as his heroic bat-suited nemesis. Inspired by actor Conrad Veidt's appearance in the 1928 film THE MAN WHO LAUGHS, the Joker (created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson) made his comic debut in "The Batman" in 1940, and has since relentlessly antagonized the Caped Crusader and his fellow crimefighters in hundreds of comic stories.

The character came to manic life courtesy of actor Cesar Romero in the campy Adam West "Batman" TV show of the 1960s, and then in 1989 Jack Nicholson memorably whooped it up in Tim Burton's BATMAN (which also gave him the non-canonical name Jack Napier). Heath Ledger redefined the Joker for a new generation as a menacing "agent of chaos" in Christopher Nolan's THE DARK KNIGHT, and Mark Hamill has delivered lively malevolence through an unforgettable vocal portrayal across numerous animated series and videogames. Jared Leto's version... has body art and a grill.

Although a "definitive" origin story hasn't been provided so far, the most popular one involves the Joker achieving his signature disfigurement after falling into a vat of chemicals while being pursued by Batman. In the renowned 1988 one-shot comic "The Killing Joke", Joker is portrayed as a chemical engineer turned failed comedian who gets involved with criminals to support his pregnant wife. Insane and distorted from an inadvertent dip in toxic waste, the Joker embarks on an extended career of tormenting Batman, Commissioner Gordon and his daughter Barbara, who is ultimately paralyzed by a bullet from Joker's gun.

Aside from the reports that this new unconnected Joker origin movie may possibly feature a younger actor, the specifics of the latest screen iteration remain a mystery for now. But one thing we do know is that it gives us another opportunity to toss out our own ideas for actors to play the role!

So who should play the infamous sinister jester? A few ideas:

NIGHTCRAWLER gave us an expertly devious and unhinged Jake Gyllenhaal, IT demon-clown Bill Skarsgard seems like he could murder a role like the Joker, and "Game of Thrones" bastard Iwan Rheon has clearly demonstrated his dastardly bona fides.

Let us know below who you think would make a killer Joker!

For the previous CAST THIS column, suggestions to play hacker Case in DEADPOOL director Tim Miller's adaptation of NEUROMANCER:

1. Cillian Murphy  2. Dan Stevens  3. Joseph Gordon-Levitt

 

Source: JoBlo.com

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