Ridley Scott caused a minor stir on the internet over the weekend when he broadly described superhero cinema as “f*cking boring as sh*t”, with the 83 year-old filmmaking legend evidently not interested in sugarcoating his opinions on the most lucrative and popular genre in the industry.
Having helmed a string of stone-cold classics dating back decades, Scott has more than earned the right to be entirely dismissive of spandex-clad crimefighters saving the world in an orgy of CGI destruction, even if his beliefs aren’t widely shared among the majority of his contemporaries not named Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola.
However, during the Deadline interview where he lambasted comic book adaptations, he did find it in his heart to praise Joaquin Phoenix’s Academy Award-winning performance in Joker, which of course has absolutely nothing to do with the fact he’s gearing up to work with the actor in Napoleon biopic Kitbag.
“He is elegant enough to contain his rage and say, what older, wiser man can do this instead of me? So, it’s almost Shakespearean, and I think, you know, Joaquin can do anything. So, when he then does something like Joker, there are moments in the Joker that I’ve never seen before. There are reactions in the Joker which are silly. You can’t just say they’re not evil. They’re coming from a damaged soul. And that’s what I’m looking for: What will Joaquin’s version of Napoleon be? He will be the painter of his own portrait, and I’ll be there to monitor it as best I can because that’s what I do.”
Of course, it also helps that Phoenix is one of the finest actors in the business that can always be relied on to deliver a performance that’s never anything less than stellar, so his contributions to Joker were always guaranteed to be spectacular. Then again, Scott might change his mind if the billion-dollar hit ends up getting those long-rumored sequels.