ByDarragh O'Connor, writer at
My name is Darragh. Enjoy reading what I think about movies. Follow me on twitter: darraghoco
Darragh O'Connor

Earlier this year we received news that a stand-alone Joker origin movie is heading our way, minus Jared Leto. The announcement of the origin film, combined with Martin Scorsese signing on to produce was enough to convince fans the project is a good idea; especially those who weren't particularly fond of Leto's Joker in Suicide Squad. But while fans may be pleased with a new Joker, the same can't be said for Leto, who isn't happy with DC's side project.

Leto's distaste aside, it could be super exciting seeing some content that doesn't need to succumb to expanded universe pressures or multi-movie plots. With that in mind, let's look at three possible storylines that we might see in the future Joker origin movie.

1. 'The Killing Joke'

'The Killing Joke' [Credit: DC Comics]
'The Killing Joke' [Credit: DC Comics]

Let's start with a bang! Batman: The Killing Joke is arguably the most well-known and iconic storyline the Joker has ever starred in. It follows the tragic story of a failing comedian struggling to provide for his family who resorts to a life of crime. This ultimately backfires as he falls into a barrel of ace chemicals and comes out a new man, the Joker.

The Killing Joke is the definite Joker storyline and it would be amazing to see an excellent actor like Bradley Cooper or Rami Malek take on this versatile role. Watching an A-list actor going from dreary family man to crazed psychopath could be one of the best on-screen arcs in any comic book movie ever made.

2. 'Batman: Black & White Vol. 2'

'Batman: Black & White Vol. 2' [Credit: DC Comics]
'Batman: Black & White Vol. 2' [Credit: DC Comics]

Batman: Black & White Vol. 2 is one of the most interesting takes on the Joker's origin that could be wonderfully adapted into a movie. The story follows a man (who goes on to be the Joker), working as a low-level criminal under various mob bosses. He eventually climbs the ranks of the criminal underworld until he becomes Gotham's kingpin, and then starts to wear a red hood to protect his identity whilst still carry out crimes. In one instance while carrying out a heist in a chemical plant, he comes into contact with Batman. Left with no choice but to jump into the barrel of chemicals, he emerges a changed man, physically altered and hungry for vengeance against Batman and the city of Gotham.

The interesting thing about this Joker origin story is that unlike most other Jokers, this iteration is not insane. This realization comes about when the Joker's file is read in Arkham Asylum whilst trying to understand his psychotic nature. The Arkham staff then find out that he's not insane at all, he simply wears his "madness" like Batman wears the cape and cowl. Batman: Black & White Vol. 2 is a truly gripping storyline that flips the psychotic Joker cliché on its head.

3. The Red Hood

'Batman: Under The Red Hood' [Credit: Warner Home Video]
'Batman: Under The Red Hood' [Credit: Warner Home Video]

In the last entry we spoke a little bit about the Joker's appearance as Red Hood, however that only begins to scratch the surface of the character. We first find out about Red Hood in Detective Comics Issue 168, "The Man Behind the Red Hood!" And the story of the Red Hood could easily be the basis of the entire origin movie if done correctly.

This storyline would be an excellent fit for Leonardo DiCaprio to play the master criminal Red Hood, causing havoc all over Gotham only to become the Joker at the end of the movie. DiCaprio is one of the best actors for intense emotional switch-ups — like his infamous glass-breaking scene in Django Unchained.

Regardless of what origin story we get, the one thing is quite likely with the Joker origin movie is we'll see him fall into a barrel of chemicals, as he does in most of his stories. The fun part is going to be everything before that — will he be a sympathetic like in Batman: The Killing Joke, or will he be feared as the Red Hood? We'll have to wait and see for ourselves.

Which Joker origin storyline you'd like to see? Tell us in the comments.


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