This is no laughing matter: Warner Bros. has tapped The Hangover filmmaker Todd Phillips to co-write and possibly direct an origin movie of the classic Batman villain The Joker.
Phillips will co-write the script with Scott Silver, writer of the 2002 Eminem movie 8 Mile as well as The Fighter, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
The project is intended to be part of a still-developing label for Warners’ DC Entertainment properties that will include projects that could stand apart from the big massive tentpoles that are tied to each other in a shared universe way.
For example, the Joker is already part of the Suicide Squad movie franchise and is played by Jared Leto. The Joker movie in development, under the plan, would feature another actor and be made under another budget category. At this stage, the story is set in Gotham City in the early 1980s.
The new label would give Warners leeway to make more DC-oriented projects, unconstrained by continuity.
One report stated that filmmaker Martin Scorsese was producing the project, but sources tell THR that his involvement is far from assured.
Phillips is known for writing and directing the Hangover franchise for the studio. It is one of the most successful comedy franchises of all time and helped launch the careers of actors Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis. Phillips last wrote, directed and produced War Dogs, starring Miles Teller and Jonah Hill. Along with producing most of his own work, he also produced Cooper’s upcoming film A Star Is Born. Phillips is repped by CAA.
Silver also wrote The Finest Hours and most recently penned the upcoming crime drama White Boy Rick. He is repped by CAA.