The news that the genius behind Goodfellas and Casino is taking on the origin story of the Clown Prince of Crime is about the most exciting cinematic news I’ve heard this year.
So let’s get to it – the top 10 things we want to see in Martin Scorsese’s Joker origin film
1. The Joker’s childhood
You know it’s going to be horrible. You know he didn’t come from a happy family.
Although it would be even more shocking if The Joker DID have a stable, happy childhood and exhibited none of the typical signs of a serial killer in his youth.
It would suggest that The Joker perhaps deliberately chose his way of life – chose to view the world as one giant, murderous joke.
2. The adult Joker before he became “The Joker”
Was he really a failed stand-up comedian?
A man driven to crime so he could afford to move his pregnant wife to a better neighbourhood as mentioned in The Killing Joke?
Maybe a street thug with big dreams in the vein of Mean Streets’s Johnny Boy?
3. A living, breathing Gotham City
“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,” says director Todd Phillips.
4. How The Joker got his scars
Because the story is always changing.
Part of the fun for Phillips is going to be to capture how The Joker views the world. In The Killing Joke, The Joker says he constantly remembers his past differently.
Expect this Joker origin story to have a similarly fractured narrative, delivered through the mind of the most unreliable narrator of all.
5. His transformation into The Joker
We’re expecting something big here … Ralph Fiennes’s Red Dragon transformation on crack. And I’m thinking it would be cool to update the Joker and Batman’s first meeting to something beyond opposite sides of a vat of acid.
6. The Joker’s twisted philosophies on life
In particular, that it only takes one really bad day to take someone down the path to becoming The Joker.
And also The Batman.
7. No Jared Leto
The Joker will be a tough role to cast, considering Heath Ledger’s legacy.
I liked Leto’s Joker, but I can’t see him getting up again as the Clown Prince of Crime.
The advance buzz, according to Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr, is that the film “will launch the character with a different actor, possibly younger”.
Better to bet Scorsese will cast either favourites De Niro or Di Caprio in supporting roles.
8. No sidekicks
No Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Penguin or Alfred … and no Robin.
9. A killer soundtrack
From Mean Streets and Goodfellas all the way up to TV show Vinyl, Scorsese has spoiled us with his golden ear.
I’m hoping his Joker soundtrack won’t be just sourced from the ’80s.
10. And the Batman
The yin to Joker’s yang. The light to his shadow. The Control to his Chaos.
I’m thinking more Bale than Affleck.
And a final thought … wouldn’t it be cool if Bruce Wayne and the future Joker had a café scene like Pacino and De Niro in Heat?