About a month ago, word arrived that Warner Brothers was developing a movie depicting the origin of The Joker that would not be part of the DC Expanded Universe.  Instead, this is reportedly the first film in a new brand of “boutique” films meant to entice filmmakers who would otherwise avoid films that are part of huge franchises.  Todd Phillips (‘Old School’, ‘The Hangover’ franchise) is attached to direct this film and he is also co-penning the script with Scott Silver.  Martin Scorsese is among the producers and the film is said to have a tone similar to his works like ‘Taxi Driver’ and ‘Raging Bull’.  WB reportedly hopes that Scorsese can lure Leonardo DiCaprio for the lead role.

Although the project was just announced last month, it may have been in the works for some time.  (Warner Brothers has made no official comments regarding this project.)  At whatever rate, it sounds as though Phillips and Silver are ready to turn in the first draft of their script next week, according to Justin Kroll of Variety:

If the script is ready, then production can begin soon, possibly in 2018.  Then again, sometimes scripts need to be fine tuned or revised.  Since Phillips co-wrote and is directing, it will be up to Warner Brothers as to whether this draft is up to par.

Details about the script come from an unlikely source, ex-MMA fighter Brendan Schuab who is friends with Phillips’ agent, Todd Feldman, and according to him:

“My boy [agent] 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 Joker doesn’t have a 100% definitive origin.  Even the esteemed ‘Killing Joke’ graphic novel is ambiguous as to whether or not it’s accurate.  The idea of him having a rictus grin as a child is new.  According to most stories, the man that would become The Joker was average until falling into the vat of acid at the Ace Chemical plant, which turned his skin chalk white and his hair green.

If things continue at this rate, ‘The Joker’ origin movie could be out before ‘Wonder Woman 2’ or any of the other projects WB has announced but that haven’t begun production.  But at this point, no release date has been announced.

Keep checking back for updates!