Joaquin Phoenix Says Playing The Joker Could Be “Interesting”
Last year, Academy Award-nominee Todd Phillips (Borat, Old School, The Hangover) officially signed on to direct Warner Bros.’ currently untitled Joker origin film. With Scott Silver (The Fighter) serving as co-writer alongside Phillips, illustrious director Martin Scorsese acting as co-producer, and Academy Award-winner Leonardo DiCaprio being eyed for the titular role, the project drew a considerable amount of attention on social media. Since August 2017, however, things have been eerily quiet.
Taking place in Gotham City during the 1980s, the film will not be part of the DC Extended Universe, which, judging by how that thing is careening off-course, is probably for the best. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like DiCaprio will be filling the clown’s shoes, worn previously by three Oscar winners, Heath Ledger, who won for his portrayal of the titular villain, Jared Leto and Jack Nicholson. On the bright side, though, the movie might get another A-lister to step into the role, Joaquin Phoenix.
According to Fandango, while promoting his new film You Were Never Really Here, Phoenix was asked point-blank if he’ll be playing the Joker, to which he replied with a “mischievous grin” on his face, “I don’t know… it could be an interesting character, I don’t know.”
The actor went on to further explain that he’s not opposed to the idea of starring in a comic book movie, but it would have to be the right project.
“I see it as any other movie. I wouldn’t say ‘I won’t do Westerns.’ It depends on what it is. I don’t really care about the genre, I care about the character and the filmmaker. If you have the ability to transcend the genre, then that’s what you want to do. So I wouldn’t say, hands down, no – I wouldn’t do that kind of movie.
There are things where I’ve flirted with the possibility where there was the potential for this to be… something that’s actually interesting to me. But then for whatever reason they never got to that place where everyone else feels the same way. And that’s key. Everyone has to want to explore the same thing or else it just doesn’t f**king work. I’m not opposed to it. I don’t make decisions on budget or things like that – it’s really the filmmaker and the character.”
Phoenix has been very cagey when questioned about his involvement in WB’s spinoff. Even though, earlier this year, Variety reported that the three-time Academy Award-nominee had entered talks to portray the Clown Prince. One thing’s for sure, if he does agree to play the Joker, it’ll certainly be a good indicator of where the project’s heading.