DC's Joker Origin Movie Star Says It Won't Be A Superhero Film
"It might as well be the thing that scares you the most."
DC's spin-off movie focusing on the early life of the Joker had been rumored for some time, but this week it was finally confirmed that it was happening and that Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator, Walk the Line) will take on the lead role. Now Phoenix has spoke about his decision to play the Clown Prince of Crime.
In an interview with Collider, Phoenix spoke about his process in choosing a role, and how he was impressed by director Todd Philips. "I take a lot of time and consideration when making decisions and what I'm gonna work on, always," he said. "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."
"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," Phoenix continued. "And so there is something very appealing about that and working with him on this particular project. It feels unique, it is its own world in some ways, and maybe, mostly, it scares the f***ing s**t out of me or something. It might as well be the thing that scares you the most."
Phoenix went on to suggest that the Joker origin movie wouldn't be a standard mainstream superhero adventure. "I wouldn't quite classify this as like any genre," he said. "I wouldn't say it's a superhero movie, or a studio movie. It feels unique, and I think more than anything, and probably the most important thing, is Todd seems very passionate about it and very giving, and so that's exciting.
"I think, underneath the excitement of these films, and the size of them, there are these incredible characters that are dealing with real-life struggles. And sometimes that is uncovered and exposed, and sometimes it isn't, and so I always felt, like, there were characters in comics that were really interesting and deserve the opportunity to be kind of studied. And so I think that's what Todd sees appealing about this idea."
Philips is best known for the Hangover movies, and he has also co-written the script for the Joker film. This week it was reported that it will have a budget of around $55 million, which is well below what other DC movies have cost to produce. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film is "meant to be darker and more experimental in tone and content (at least as experimental as a studio can be with established brands such as DC), which is described as being akin to a crime drama."
The new Joker movie does not currently have a release date and is separate from the other one starring Jared Leto. Phoenix's movie will reportedly have no impact on Leto's portrayal of the Joker in future movies--including Suicide Squad 2 and his standalone film.