Martin Scorsese is making a 'gritty and grounded' Joker movie with Todd Phillips

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The DC universe is set to get even bigger and even grittier with plans for a new movie about The Joker.

Martin Scorsese, one of the most celebrated film directors of all time, is set to produce the project with The Hangover's Todd Phillips as director.

Deadline reports that Martin Scorsese wants the prequel to be "gritty and grounded" and set in the 1980s.

The Joker film is also set to be more of a dark crime film than a traditional superhero adventure.

Jared Leto, who starred as The Joker in the Suicide Squad movie and is contracted for two more appearances, is not expected to appear.

image copyrightWarner Bros

Instead, a younger actor will be auditioned to bring the iconic bad guy to life on screen - again.

The Joker has previously been played by Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson in film versions, while Star Wars actor Mark Hamill has been the villain's voice in cartoon and video game adaptations.

Martin Scorsese is most famous for films including Taxi Driver and Raging Bull.

Hollywood writers Todd Phillips and Scott Silver are reportedly working on a script for the movie.

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image captionJared Leto most recently played The Joker in the 2016 Suicide Squad movie

No release date or further details are currently known.

Warner Brothers, the studio which makes DC comics' movies, currently has films scheduled for release until 2020.

Those include Justice League, Wonder Woman 2 and a Green Lantern re-boot.

Jared Leto's Joker will appear in films Gotham City Sirens and a Suicide Squad sequel, but neither of those have release dates yet.

The Joker is known as one of the DC Universe's most evil characters, with a history of torture, murder and implied rape in the comic books.

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