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Fans were more than a little curious when it was announced that, not only did Warner Bros. want to make a standalone movie about The Joker, they wanted it to stand outside of continuity with the existing DCEU and the Joker they already cast. Now, some more details have begun to emerge about the sort of movie we might get, and the sort of actor the studio wants to cast. The word is WB would love to get Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead.
One of the items that caused most fans to look at the news strangely was the fact that Martin Scorsese was involved as a producer on the project. One simply does not expect the man behind Taxi Driver and Goodfellas to be involved in a superhero movie. It seems that the decision to bring in Scorsese was a calculated move by Warner Bros., as they want to use him to convince Leonardo DiCaprio to star in the film. The end game appears to be building a comic book movie that will legitimately be able to contend for major awards.
If this sounds like a longshot, that's because it probably is. According to THR, the deal to get Martin Scorsese to produce The Joker movie isn't even a done deal yet, so no offer has actually been made to Leonardo DiCaprio either. Still, it's fascinating news and it does begin to explain the surprising decisions that the movie has made. There has always been a perception that there's a significant difference between the money making blockbuster movies and the "awards movies." Rarely do to the two cross. Warner Bros. wants to make comic book movies in both categories. To them, that means making separate films, one set that will bring in the money, and another that will bring in serious filmmakers to make more serious films.
Leonardo DiCaprio has, thus far, stayed away from the franchise movie machine. He's no stranger to making box office favorites, he starred in Titanic after all, but he has yet to be involved in any comic book films or anything even remotely similar. One assumes Marvel or DC would trip over themselves to sign him up if he had shown any interest, so we can guess that up to now he hasn't wanted to get involved. Would a promise of a more serious, dramatic, take on the genre, with a trusted collaborator like Martin Scorsese at his side, be enough to convince him to give it a try?
Even if Leonardo DiCaprio doesn't decide to be the Joker, don't be surprised to see another A-list actor of similar clout take on the role. The idea of an awards caliber Joker movie likely won't change even if Dicaprio declines. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend, because whatever happens, this story isn't over yet.