People can’t help but compare the upcoming Joker to all of the comic book movies that have come before it. Director Todd Phillips, however, doesn’t sound like he has much of an interest in competing with the powerhouse that is Marvel Studios.
In a recent response to a question about whether DC’s approach to director-driven cinema could be a “useful tool” in the studio’s competition with Marvel, he had this to say:
“I don’t know about competition with Marvel and that thing, I’ve never been in the comic book world. When we originally conceived this idea, it was very much about this sort of genre, of taking a different approach with it… I don’t know what sort of effect it will have with other filmmakers. I think the comic book movies have been doing really well, and they don’t necessarily need a change… We just thought it could be an exciting approach to this genre. I’m not sure what it means for DC, or Marvel, how they’ll change the way they’ll do it.”
Phillips might not be intending to compete with other comic book movies, but that’s precisely what’s already happening. Analysts continue to stack Joker up against other entries in the genre to predict how it’ll perform both with fans and at the box office. And it sounds like it’s going to do quite well with both.
Industry insiders currently think that the R-rated villain origin story is going to financially surpass the impressive debut of Aquaman. Some are even speculating that the flick could shatter the October box office record set by Venom last year, as Joker is expected to earn somewhere between $70 and $95 million its opening weekend, which is definitely an impressive way to kick off a film’s theatrical run and could seal the deal on a possible sequel.
Beyond just money though, this ambitious project has the potential to be an all-timer. Those who’ve been lucky enough to already watch it are calling Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in the titular role the best of his career thus far. Comparisons are being made to The Dark Knight as well and there’s been talk that the portrayal could earn the actor his fourth Academy Award nomination.
Even if Phillips doesn’t want to compare Joker to Marvel’s productions, these accomplishments would definitely go a long way towards catapulting his work towards the top of the genre. Maybe then he’ll be more interested in opening up a dialogue around the competition with DC’s rival.