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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

We all know that Joker doesn’t look to be your average superhero film. For starters, it’s following the origins of a villain. But even more of a departure from that is its lower-budget feel. Don’t get me wrong, what we’ve seen of the movie looks absolutely gorgeous, but in a very different more grounded way than any other comic book movie in recent history.

But what was the germ of the idea that first struck director Todd Phillips? Well, as it turns out, it happened outside the premiere of his most recent film at the time, War Dogs, wherein he looked up and saw a billboard for an undisclosed film…though Suicide Squad had opened that month, so it’s likely it was that film’s billboard he saw.

RELATED – New Joker Poster Highlights Already-Iconic Stair-Dancing Scene

“I knew that War Dogs wasn’t going to set the world on fire and I was thinking, ‘What do people really want to see?’ The movies that I grew up loving, these character studies from the ’70s, you couldn’t get those movies made in this climate. I’m staring up at this billboard and I said to myself, ‘What if you did a movie in that vein but made it about one of those characters?’ ”

If indeed he was looking up at a Suicide Squad billboard, he may very well have been looking at Jared Leto’s take on the Clown Prince of Crime and imagined a different origin for the character.

It’s brilliant, really. We all know what he says is true. Those introspective pieces simply don’t sell in today’s climate. But if you were to use an existing character from those flashy I.P.s and rework it into something more akin to those introspective works, it may very well click with audiences. Given that Marvel Studios has spent the last five years experimenting with genre in a single universe, going this route seemed like a given at some point.

What do you think of Phillips’ approach? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCE: L.A. Times

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.