Another movie based on a DC Comics property was announced this week, and it caught a lot of people by surprise: Batman villain the Joker will be the focus of an origin story set in the early 1980s. Martin Scorsese is producing, Todd Phillips is directing, and a new actor will portray the young evildoer.
Throughout the history of DC Comics adaptations, the Joker has been a favorite element, not just in Batman movies, including The Dark Knight and the animated Batman: The Killing Joke, but also the bad-guy bonanza Suicide Squad. And critics tend to agree with the fans for the most part.
Average Tomatometer score for Batman-based movies featuring the Joker: 78.2%
Average Tomatometer score for Batman-based movies without the Joker: 69.1%
Yet there were uniformly negative reactions to the news of the new Joker movie, which probably won’t feature Batman. Here’s what the critics are saying:
Of all the characters who should NOT have an origin story, like, EVER.
– Helen O’Hara, Empire
I can not wait for the Joker origin, because everyone’s childhood is so f—ing interesting.
– Mike Ryan, Uproxx
The best way to combat hate is by drowning it out. So let’s all get out there and make movies that AREN’T Joker origin stories.
– Eric D. Snider, EricDSnider.com
I hope the Joker movie is so gritty that it feels like having 400 pounds of gravel shot into my eyes with a firehose.
– Scott Wampler, Birth.Movies.Death
Honestly? It feels extremely ill-advised, at least while the current iteration of the DCEU is going…it makes little sense and could lead to a lot of confusion among non-hardcore fans.
– Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist
They need to give the Joker a rest..just like Green Goblin over in the Spider-verse.
– Edward Douglas, The Tracking Board
Is Todd Phillips perfect for this or terrible for this, I can’t tell I don’t know anything anymore.
– Alison Willmore, Buzzfeed
That ‘Joker origin movie produced by Martin Scorsese’ story feels like the end of all things.
– Scott Mendelson, Forbes
I’m a busy man, so I’m just going to get my gigantic eye roll out of the way now for when “Sympathy for the Devil” plays in the Joker movie.
– Matt Goldberg, Collider
How about we just call SHUTTER ISLAND Scorsese’s Joker movie instead?
– Sam Adams, Slate