Monday, 18 February, 2019

Joaquin Phoenix explains why he took the role of the Joker

Joaquin Phoenix Confirmed to Play The Joker In New Origin Film Exclusive: Joaquin Phoenix on His “Unique” Joker Movie and Why It Scares Him
Adrian Cunningham | 14 July, 2018, 12:32

This week, after months of rumors and whispers, we finally got confirmation that Oscar-nominee and Golden Globe victor Joaquin Phoenix (The Master, Walk the Line) will star as The Joker in an dark origin story film for the character not connected to anything in the DC Extended Universe. It's an opportunity for Warner use one of its most recognizable DC Comics heroes on a smaller scale and with a grittier tone, and landing an actor like Phoenix to lead such a film is a huge win for the studio. The most intriguing detail is that they're making a Joker movie.

'I wouldn't quite classify this as like any genre.

Phillips will be directing the film on a script co-written by him and Scott Silver (The Finest Hours) and though no release date is now set for the film, principal photography is expected to begin this September. "So, in some ways, the process, which is obviously reading a script and meeting a filmmaker and then continuing to have meetings and discussions with Todd [Phillips]", Phoenix said.

In discussing the film itself, Phoenix said the genre is indescribable, landing not in one genre or the other, but rather feeling like a purely unique feature and that the most important thing about the film is Phillips' passion for the project.

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In particular, the actor said that the movie's premise struck him as the realization of an idea that he had himself, independently, several years ago. It feels unique, it is its own world in some ways, and maybe, mostly, it scares the fucking shit out of me or something. "It might as well be the thing that scares you the most", he said. The fact that Joaquin Phoenix wanted to play a supervillain isn't surprising.

"It's a magnified version of what you deal with as an actor", Phoenix said. The Warner Bros. movie reportedly has a budget of only around $55 million, which is well below what other Warner Bros. superhero and villain movies have cost to produce.

No projected release date for the untitled Joker film has been announced. If this alternate universe, character-driven Joker movie lives up to its potential, then - as Phoenix points out in the Collider interview - we really might have something special going on here. Under Todd Phillips' direction, will the Academy Award-nominated actor bring a level of gravitas to the most iconic comic book villain of all-time that hasn't been seen in almost a decade?

It seems that Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips are exactly on the same page for the Joker Origin movie, which makes it all that much more exciting for fans. As someone that has covered movies for a long time, everything about the way they are planning this Joker movie sounds smart and it's why fandom is so excited for this movie.