The events of this week proved just how serious Warner Bros. are with this standalone Joker movie.
Last year was the first time we heard about this potential project and to be honest it felt like something that was farfetched. However, clearly the studio are confident about this project as it has been picking up steam behind the scenes. The purpose of this article is to show you just how much work has been done on the project already and why you should at least give this movie a chance before writing it off.
The casting of the Joker is something that has been never been short of controversy in the past. However, this time with the confirmation of Joaquin Phoenix set to play the iconic villain the reception to this news hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be.
To say that Joaquin Phoenix is a seasoned actor would be an understatement given his filmography. I have to say that Warner Bros. were smart with this casting. Even if people aren’t too excited about this standalone Joker movie, they’ll at least give it a try because someone like Joaquin Phoenix is attached to it. He doesn’t just select any project for the sake of doing it and I believe his recent interview with Collider about the film showed that.
In an interview with Phoenix explained his decision in taking on this major role:
“I take a lot of time and consideration when making decisions and what I’m gonna work on always. So, in some ways, the process, which is obviously reading a script and meeting a filmmaker and then continuing to have meetings and discussions with Todd [Phillips]. I think he’s very impressive and he seems to have a very interesting understanding of this world and what he’s trying to say. And so there is something very appealing about that and working with him on this particular project.”
Behind The Camera
As well as Joaquin Phoenix being announced to star as the Joker in the movie we also found out who’s in charge of the project. Todd Phillips who has contributed heavily to the Hangover franchise will be directing the film. Not only will he be directing the project but him and Scott Silver have written the script.
It was also rumoured early on that Martin Scorsese would be producing the film but according to Deadline he has since left the project because of his work schedule. Now that role will be left to Emma Tillinger Koskoff and Richard Baratta.
The main issue that most people seem to have with this project is how it will be an origins movie. One of the biggest complaints I’ve seen about this film is fans wanting the Joker’s origin to be left as a mystery and I can understand that. Personally that’s what I loved the most about Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight. Little details such as him changing the story of how he got his scars helped create this allure that surrounded the character. There is a chance that this could be lost in this film. Or it’s possible that they want to create an entirely different Joker to the previous iterations that we have already seen. This Joker movie is set in the 80s and is said be influenced by Alan Moore’s iconic The Killing Joke as it follows the journey of a failed comedian who turns to crime in desperation.
The studio has described the film as “exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.”
The man who is set to play the Joker himself doesn’t hold back when describing the film’s uniqueness:
“It feels unique, it is its own world in some ways, and maybe, mostly, it scares the fucking shit out of me or something. It might as well be the thing that scares you the most,”
What Universe Will This Movie Take Place In?
Will we see appearances from the likes of Batman, Superman and the rest of the Justice League members in this movie? In short, no because this film is going to be set in its own universe that the studio are looking to create. There hasn’t been any official word on this yet but the studio hope to have a separate universe where they can explore more standalone films which are created with smaller budgets. One of the potential names of the universe that has been floating around is ‘DC Black’ but please that with a grain of salt as no one has confirmed it yet.
When Will It Be Released?
Arguably the most important thing we learned about the Joker movie this week is the studio are aiming to start shooting it in September of this year. Keep in mind with the script already done and Joaquin Phoenix signed on that looks like it could be a real possibility.
The studio are also looking to make this one of their many projects in the future that are made with a small budget as it’s estimated this film could cost up to $55 million. Compared to the previous entries in the DCEU this film will definitely be on the cheaper side when it comes to production. But that shouldn’t deter anyone from looking forward to this film. The likes of Denis Villeneuve with Arrival has shown what can be accomplished on a small budget.
What About Jared Leto?
What does this all mean for Jared Leto? If you were to ask me a couple of months ago I would think that the studio weren’t that confident with him going forward. But just last month it was announced that Jared Leto would be getting his own Joker standalone movie.
That makes it two standalone Joker movies in the works, I know it doesn’t make sense but it does sound exciting. Jared Leto deserves a real chance at playing the Joker because I don’t feel like his character was handled well in Suicide Squad. It would be unfair to replace him after 10-15 minutes of screen time. With that being said we’ll also get to see him reprise the role of the Joker again in Suicide Squad 2.
So how does this standalone Joker movie impact Leto’s future? Given the future projects that the studio has planned it doesn’t impact his role at all. But I do believe the studio aren’t helping him by doing this. Look even if you loved Jared Leto’s Joker in Suicide Squad, we know theres some people who didn’t. If this standalone Joker movie is a hit and Joaquin Phoenix kills it in this role which I’m sure he will, the calls for Jared Leto getting replaced will only get louder. I know it doesn’t sound ideal but I hope we can have two separate Joker’s in two separate universes because the character can be portrayed is so many different ways.