What’s The Plan With Leonardo DiCaprio as The Joker?
Jared Leto is angry and the world is stunned! Leonardo DiCaprio as the Clown Prince of Crime himself!? How could this be? Well, it looks like such an idea could become a reality. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros is looking to bring DiCaprio onto the project through Martin Scorsese’s involvement. This should not surprise anyone that the studio is trying to turn Jack Dawson into The Joker. They have been trying to get him for awhile, even stating they wanted him to play Edward Nygma/The Riddler for The Dark Knight Rises way before the film ever went into production or the story was announced. As we know, Nolan ended up using Bane as the main antagonist of that film but it shows how much the studio actually wants DiCaprio for their DC Universe slate of films.
With the news that Jack Dawson will rise from the dead to become the Clown Prince of Crime, it may be interesting to consider what exactly DiCaprio could bring to the role. According to a friend of Todd Feldman, the agent of the project’s director, Todd Phillips, the film will actually show the childhood of The Joker.
“My boy Todd Feldman put this together with Todd Phillips,” Brendan Schaub, a former MMA fighter, said. “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.”
While this sounds like a project that would work for Scorsese, the question of whether DiCaprio is actually a fit for this proves fascinating. DiCaprio has done a few mob type movies, mainly thanks to Scorsese including him in those films. He has played Amsterdam Vallon, a reluctant Irish gangster in Gangs of New York, and Billy Costigan, a Boston Police cadet who goes undercover as a gangster in the Irish mafia. He does not, however, have as much experience as an Al Pacino or Joe Pesci would.
DiCaprio often portrays characters that are ostensibly good but end up in bad circumstances. He’s lucky none of them have had to look for the best alcohol rehab centers. For Vallon, it may have been something he could have benefited from. Costigan was always pretty controlled with both substances and his emotions being a cop. With word that the character seems to fit the mold of someone who seemingly was bullied into becoming the crazy character he is today, it may give DiCaprio the chance to gain the audience’s sympathy as a man lost on the path of life.
Yet, while DiCaprio might be able to grab some tears and feelings from the audience with his performance, will the essence of who The Joker is be lost? Many have enjoyed Heath Ledger’s Joker because he went back to the true origins of the character, which didn’t exist. Even in Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland, the supposed origin story of The Joker, it’s even stated that the story itself might be made up by The Joker. The story could have involved the villain’s trip to the best alcohol rehab centers because the person he was before the Clown Prince of Crime seemed to have a drinking problem. The story’s entire portrayal of his origin could be a lie as The Joker states.
However, it was made The Joker’s origin in the comics in different iterations but always with him falling into the vat of acid as seen in Batman, the 1989 film starring Michael Keaton. Would DiCaprio be able to nail the laugh and look of The Joker too? It would be just as important to fans as the laugh itself. And the biggest thing, perhaps, is what will happen with Jared Leto?
According to many reports, he’s signed on for the Joker/Harley film, Suicide Squad 2, and Gotham City Sirens. That’s not to mention that he might appear in a Batman film starring Ben Affleck and directed by Matt Reeves in some capacity. Leto is reportedly not happy about that and who’s to blame him? When you’re cast as The Joker, you think you will be THE Joker and not have someone else to compete with for popularity. He did a good job as The Joker in Suicide Squad and deserves the chance to shine in the role without competition as Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson before him had.
While none of these plans for a Joker origin film are necessarily set in stone, it becomes more interesting as rumors, hearsay, and news itself leak out.