Though the upcoming Joker movie has had its vocal detractors ever since the project was first announced, writer, director, and podcaster Kevin Smith has long shown his support for the Todd Phillips-helmed film, praising the standalone flick as a welcome experiment in the wake of DC’s ham-fisted attempts at establishing an interconnected universe.
Moreover, in a recent episode of his Fatman Beyond podcast, Smith made it evident that his optimism is yet to be crushed, with the host singling out star Joaquin Phoenix as a reason why this could be worth a watch.
“He’s a great actor.” Smith explained. “I’ll watch him do anything. Seeing him take on this role, I’ve been curious from the jump. But I’m also of the belief that you could make a bunch of these. You could make six Joker movies, I’ll see all of them. Half of them will probably be really good. So, you know, they’re not planning that, but they were talking about making this one and the Jared Leto one. It feels like the Jared Leto one quietly goes away, based on this one.”
Previously, Smith has appeared open to the idea of there being two Clown Princes of Crime in their own separate but simultaneous movie timelines, but there’s no denying that there’s a large part of the fanbase who wouldn’t be too broken up about never seeing the Leto version on screens again.
Smith also discussed the first Joker teaser, which gave us a brief glimpse at Phoenix in full clown makeup. The filmmaker deemed it a savvy move to get this footage out there before the unofficial images of the movie’s anti-hero could make their way online.
“They’re shooting out in the real world – wherever that is, apparently in the Bronx.” Smith explained. “And when you do that, that’s that, because everyone’s got a phone camera in their hands at all given times, and whatnot. So even a non-professional person walking past like ‘Oh shit, there’s a camera! Oh shit, there’s a clown! Oh shit, it’s The Joker!’ Bam! You’re going to have it spoiled like crazy. So in an effort to combat it or – since images are getting out there – Todd Phillips, the director of the movie, has stated ‘Look, all the paparazzi are putting out bad pictures? At least I’m going to put out good pictures. If the image is going to be out there, let me share good versions of this.’”
Phillips did indeed say as such shortly after the first leaks surfaced, and to Smith, it’s a happy side effect of this situation that we’re getting so much set material to look at.
“So because of that, we’re seeing an unprecedented amount of material on this movie while they’re in the earliest stages of production, including the look of the Joker, [which is] something that nobody every really saw on The Dark Knight until very close to the first trailer.” Smith continued. “Like there was no very early image of Heath Ledger out there in the world. So it’s crazy, but at the same time, it does fuel interest. What do you think about the direction that they’ve taken with it so far? It looks like, you can’t say for sure that you’ve seen the be all, end all of the character, because they keep doing iterations of him in clown makeup.”
While some fans may have preferred a little more mystery surrounding the project, there’s honestly something very refreshing about this production not playing the same spoilerphobic, hyper-regulatory marketing games as Marvel Studios and their contemporaries. Instead, the footage is out there for fans to scrutinize or simply ignore, whichever they prefer. However, we won’t be getting the full picture until Joker comes out on October 4th, 2019.