Joaquin Phoenix Wouldn’t Be Afraid To Follow In Heath Ledger’s Footsteps As The Joker


Warner Bros.’ untitled Joker origin film is perhaps the most exciting production presently gestating. When it was announced last year that The Hangover director Todd Phillips would helm the picture, news that Martin Scorsese had signed on as co-producer soon followed, and a casting decision seemed imminent with Academy Award winner Leonardo DiCaprio being eyed for the titular role.

While Phillips and Scorsese remain attached, the rumours about DiCaprio’s impending casting dispersed and have since been replaced with hearsay surrounding another A-lister, Joaquin Phoenix. Granted, nothing’s been confirmed just yet and making things more confusing is the fact that the actor refuses to comment on it.

That continues today, as in a recent interview with Collider, the 43-year-old maintained that he doesn’t know anything about the film. Still, he did say that following in Heath Ledger’s footsteps wouldn’t be a big deal as his take on the Joker would be different from what came before, as the genre lends itself to “having different people play the same character and interpret it in a different way.”

“I don’t know about that movie or character specifically, but I was thinking about it’s interesting with comics there’s different writers and artists that come on. It’s different than this character from literature being uniquely that. There are different interpretations. It’s so interesting; I was just thinking about it today, it seems so unique in some ways to comic books. I think there’s probably room for that.

Continuing on, he said:

Maybe it’s like doing a play, like you always hear about people doing something, ‘You should have seen this actor in this performance,’ but then other actors do it and it’s a different kind of film. I think that genre, comic books, kind of lends itself to having different people play the same character and interpret it in a different way. It’s kind of built into the source material in some ways. I think it’s cool when people do that.”

In some ways, Phoenix is right. The comic book movie genre, perhaps more so than most, does allow for different interpretations on the same character. That being said, Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker is just so iconic and beloved that no matter who plays the villain in the future, they’ll always be compared to what the aforementioned actor did back in The Dark Knight.

Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight

As for whether Phoenix will get the chance to suit up as the Clown Prince of Crime, well, we don’t know. Like we said before, he refuses to confirm his involvement in the project and much like Nightwing before it, we’re more inclined to believe that Warner Bros. is holding fire on the pic until such a time as Matt Reeves is ready to launch his standalone Batman movie.

The takeaway? Todd Phillips’ Joker movie likely won’t be ready until 2021, which means we may be waiting a while before hearing who will play the character – should it be Phoenix or someone else.

About the author


Matt Joseph

Matt Joseph is the co-founder, owner and Editor in Chief of We Got This Covered. He currently attends the University of Western Ontario and is studying at the Richard Ivey School of Business. He works on We Got This Covered in his spare time and enjoys writing for the site.