Joker origins movie finally finds its star in Joaquin Phoenix
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Brace yourselves everyone, another Joker movie is coming; only this time the iconic role of Batman’s arch-nemesis will be played by none other than Joaquin Phoenix. Following Heath Ledger’s unforgettable portrayal in Christopher Nolan’s 2008 blockbuster The Dark Knight and Jared Leto’s equally unforgettable, but for all the wrong reasons, portrayal in 2016’s Suicide Squad, Phoenix has his work cut out to make the role his own. But with three Oscar nominations and a filmography of weird and wonderful roles, it is clear that Phoenix is an inspired casting for the wicked and idiosyncratic character of the Joker. Unlike The Dark Night and Suicide Squad, this film is set to take us right back to the start and act as an origins story for the character that we’ve seen wreak havoc in Gotham city for years. Director and writer Todd Phillips, who made his name with the Hangover trilogy, calls the film an ‘exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study but also a broader cautionary tale’. The film is set to take place in Gotham city in the 1980s with a relatively modest budget of $55 million, and will act as a ‘hard-boiled crime drama’. With Martin Scorsese co-producing it’s hard not to have high hopes for the film. This announcement, although exciting, does create confusion for fans of the existing DC extended franchise who are already familiar with Jared Leto in the role. However, it is clear that this standalone film will not affect Leto’s continuation as the Joker, as he is already signed to reprise his role in Suicide Squad 2, the Harley Quinn spin-off Birds of Prey, as well as his own solo film. So it seems we will simply have to deal with having two Jokers in alternate timelines at once, which is confusing but interesting nonetheless. Shooting is set to begin in September in New York but a release date has not yet been announced.
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