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Joker origin movie in development with 'Hangover' director Todd Phillips

Shown is the Joker as personified by, from left, Jack Nicholson, the art of Dave McKean, Cesar Romero and Heath Ledger. (Warner Bros., DC Entertainment, ABC, Warner Bros.)
Shown is the Joker as personified by, from left, Jack Nicholson, the art of Dave McKean, Cesar Romero and Heath Ledger. (Warner Bros., DC Entertainment, ABC, Warner Bros.)

The biggest, baddest and most beloved villain (for better or worse) in the DC Entertainment universe is getting his very own origin movie. The Los Angeles Times can confirm that the Joker, who has been portrayed by Jack Nicholson, Mark Hamill, Cesar Romero, Heath Ledger and, very recently, Jared Leto, will star in his very own spinoff feature.

Originally reported by Deadline, Todd Phillips of "The Hangover" fame is co-writing the script with "The Fighter" screenwriter Scott Silver. Phillips is also attached to direct. 

Despite being a Batman spinoff, this movie will not be directly tied to the DC universe that was rebooted back in 2013 with the new Superman movie "Man of Steel." 

So those of you waiting with bated breath for a reprisal of Leto's tattooed take on the maniacal madman from "Suicide Squad" will have to wait a little bit longer. 

This new Joker movie is a standalone film under a brand-new (and not yet named) banner under DC. Which means that while it's not directly linked to the "Batman v. Superman" universe, it will allow the movie-makers to explore the vast world of DC characters and storylines without getting tangled up in six years of on-screen comic-book canon.

Think the "Gotham by Gaslight" comic-book one-shot (by Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola) that featured all the Batman characters set in 1889 Gotham, with a steampunk bent.  This Joker movie could be set in any time and pull from any gallery of rogues or heroes in the DC Comics universe. 

This also means that comic-book movie fans will get yet another actor to tell the Joker's creation story. Let the fan casting begin. 

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