Warner Bros. is just a movie studio, standing in front of a movie star, asking him to play the Joker. Martin Scorsese and Todd Phillips are developing a stand-alone Joker movie for Warner Bros., but a new Hollywood Reporter item suggests the Scorsese-Phillips pairing is part of a push to recruit auteurs to the DC Comics cinematic universe. Mostly, it seems, the studio is playing the long game to woo the star they really want: Leonardo DiCaprio. “Why would Warners executives, as brand managers of the extended DC Comics cinematic universe, want a legendarily controlling and free-spending [Scorsese] involved in its marquee property?” THR asks. “The answer involves a plan worthy of the Joker himself. Sources say Warners will make an ambitious attempt to use Scorsese to bring Leonardo DiCaprio into the world of comic-book movies.” (How and why THR sees this plan as “worthy of the Joker himself,” is unclear.)
By all accounts, it seems the franchise-averse DiCaprio won’t sign on to play the Joker. But Warner Bros. shouldn’t give up their fight: If the studio is really thirsty to sign DiCaprio, maybe they’ll get Kate Winslet to make some Titanic jokes and talk him into it. Tobey Maguire is a Marvel man, but have they tried reaching out to pussy posse treasurer Lukas Haas or its vice-president, Kevin Connolly? Doll pics seemed to work for Blake Lively when she needed to get in touch with Leo back in the day. Leo can get a harem of models any day of the week — but perhaps DC can pull out the big guns and get Rihanna to stop leaving their would-be Joker on read.