Joker Director Says The Film’s Violence Feels Like A Punch In The Stomach

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Joker is expected to be a record-breaking release for Warner Bros. next month, but not all fans are going to enjoy the movie’s many graphically violent scenes. Director Todd Phillips is well aware of that, too, and recently commented on the film’s gut-wrenching violence at a press conference, stating:

“It’s all tone. I think one of the biggest jobs of a director is you’re the purveyor of tone, and this movie was always written and meant to be a slow burn, and I think the violence is part of that slow burn. We were very careful, I think, with it… A lot of people assume or think it’s gonna be a really violent movie, but if you break it down to the amount of people that [Arthur] has a problem with, I think the reason it affects you differently — I mean, you can watch a movie like John Wick 3, and there’s a much higher amount of violence. But I think why it might affect you differently is we tried to paint it with as realistic a brush as possible. So when it comes, it sort of feels like a punch in the stomach. But again, it was all just a balancing act of tone.”

Regardless, it looks like the movie is going to make a lot of money. It already appears on route to shatter the impressive October box office record set by Venom last year. In fact, analysts are speculating that the upcoming feature will earn somewhere between $70 to $95 million its opening weekend, meaning that the film will come close to doubling its $55 million budget within the first few days of its release.

Despite the gratuitous violence, Joker also has a chance to be mentioned in some prestigious circles come award season. Already, Joaquin Phoenix is being touted as a potential Oscar nominee due to what some are calling the “best performance of his career” in the titular role.

Of course, Health Ledger won a posthumous Academy Award for his performance as the Clown Prince in The Dark Knight, a movie that this flick’s being compared to, so it’s entirely possible that Phoenix can now do the same. A potential nomination would be the fourth of the actor’s career and if he can somehow walk away with the golden statue, it’ll be his first win.

There seems to be little doubt that Joker‘s going to be great. Still, all of the intense brutality may be too much for some moviegoers to handle. We’ll know soon enough how well it plays with audiences though, as the pic hits theaters on October 4th.

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