Warner Bros. have not had a huge amount of luck with the Joker since Heath Ledger’s Academy Award winning performance in The Dark Knight. The character has made various animated appearances, as well two incredibly divisive live action appearances in both Gotham, and in last years Suicide Squad. But, none have managed to resonate in the same way as Ledger’s.

Jared Leto’s most recent iteration of the clown prince of crime, in the aforementioned super villain team up, proved to be much more controversial than Warner’s hoped last year. As a result, there has always been a lingering question mark over whether or not Leto will reprise his role.

Now, it has been revealed that the studio in the process of developing a brand new film, that will focus on the origin of the character. The film will reportedly stand on its own, and not have any ties to the current wave of DC films connected to Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad. Todd Phillips (The Hangover, War Dogs) will write and direct, alongside Scott Silver (8 Mile, The Fighter), with none other than Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver, The Departed) producing.

The film is said to be set in an 80’s Gotham city as:

‘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.’

Interestingly the report also mentions that Leto is still set to play the Joker once again in the upcoming Suicide Squad 2, and the upcoming Harley Quinn spin-off. With this new origin story standing on its own as a separate entity to the DCEU, Warner’s might run the risk of weakening the character and confusing their brand. But, if the film is a success then they could have their cake and eat it too. Regardless, the talent already enlisted here is enough to make this an incredibly exciting prospect, and we’re curious to see how this develops.

Head back to THN for more updates on The Joker.