Todd Phillips pitched Joker as the first in a new DC films division

There have been numerous questions about where exactly Todd Phillips upcoming Joker film sits in the DC film universe. Is it part of the DCEU? Is it an Elseworlds story? As it stands right now, the film is simply Joker without any form of banner attached to it. However, at one time, Phillips did have a suggestion of what it could be part of.

According to the Empire feature on the film – via Johnny Sobczak – Phillips first pitched Joker to Warner Bros. executives at the premiere after party for War Dogs. He apparently included in that pitch that it could be the beginning of a new division that should be called DC Black and it would separate itself from the DCEU and serve as a differentiator from Marvel Cinematic Universe type fare.

“I said, ‘Let Joker be the first, then let’s get f—— great filmmakers to come in,’ instead of trying to live in the shadow of the beast (MCU), let’s do something they can’t,” Phillips told Empire. He went on to add that the budgets needed to stay low and avoid CGI. “Let’s strip that all away. It’ll be liberating,” added Phillips. “The energy you get from an actor is different on 179th Street and Jerome Avenue in the Bronx than if we did that with green screen, which, by the way, I don’t even know how to do s— like that. There’s not one green screen in this movie.”

Joker will star Joaquin Phoenix as Arther Fleck, a mentally ill man that society has tossed aside. As the trailer showed, we’ll follow his story as he descends into madness and slowly takes on the guise that will come to be known as the Joker.

The film also stars Robert De Niro as talk show host Murray Franklin, Zazie Beetz as Arthur’s love interest Sophie Dumond, Frances Conroy as Arthur’s mother, Penny, and more.

Joker will hit theaters on Oct. 4.