How Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Movie Differs From Previous Incarnations


You wait months – if not years – for a Joker solo movie and all of a sudden, two arrive at once.

On the one hand, Warner Bros. is said to be pursuing a standalone film for Jared Leto’s Clown Prince of Crime – you know, as soon as the actor wraps work on Morbius, the Living Vampire – while earlier this week the Powers That Be issued the go-ahead for a second Joker spinoff featuring Joaquin Phoenix in the title role.

Indeed, it’s only now that the project has been given the green light that Phoenix is beginning to talk openly about why he signed on in the first place, along with the ways in which his “dark and experimental” offshoot differs from previous incarnations of DC’s greatest villain. Hell, the esteemed actor even went so far as to say that his Joker origins movie can’t be classified by any one genre…

I wouldn’t quite classify this as like any genre. I wouldn’t say it’s a superhero movie, or a studio movie or a … It feels unique, and I think more then anything, and probably the most important thing, is Todd seems very passionate about it and very giving, and so that’s exciting.

Bringing some semblance of reality to Gotham’s criminal kingpin appears to be what drew Joaquin Phoenix to the film, and here, he offers a little more insight into Todd Phillips’ (The Hangover) approach.

I think, underneath the excitement of these films, and the size of them, there are these incredible characters that are dealing with real-life struggles. And sometimes that is uncovered and exposed, and sometimes it isn’t, and so I always felt, like, there were characters in comics that were really interesting and deserve the opportunity to be kind of studied. And so I think that’s what Todd sees appealing about this idea.

Warner Bros. has supposedly allocated a $55 million budget to its other Joker movie, and we’ve since learned that filming is expected to commence this fall in New York City.