Everything We Know About the Joker Movie, and Why It Could Be The Genre's Most Refreshing Film in Years
It has been months now since news first broke of Warner Brothers' standalone film about The Joker. It was passed off as a joke by many at first and most figured that it would get lumped into the pile of "in-development" DC films that will never actually see the light of day, but with the movie officially starting production within two months and the cast being assembled, now is a good time to break down everything we know about the upcoming film, and why exactly it could be one of the genre's best outings in years.
Although rumors have been circling for a while now, news broke last night via Heat Vision and The Hollywood Reporter that Warner Bros. had officially green-lit the Clown Prince of Crime's solo venture. Borys Kit and the team at Heat Vision published a loaded story last night, confirming that Todd Phillips will be helming the movie, along with co-writing it.
Todd Phillips, known for directing The Hangover Trilogy, Old School, and War Dogs, is obviously and ironically a traditionally comedic director. The movie of course has a lot of options with how they could take the character's origin story, seeing as the Joker is one of the most infamously mysterious characters in DC Comics. A more lighthearted and comedic take on the story would be in vein of Todd Phillips' past work, although it would be very easy for them to take a look at the true tragedy behind the character's story.
Warner Bros. themselves have described the film with as, "an exploration of a man disregarded by a society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale." It seems as though the film is definitely going the darker route with the character, most likely following a backstory similar to those seen in infamous comics like The Killing Joke and Lovers and Madmen.
The project has been given a significantly low budget, with only $55M. This is not only lower than its contemporaries, but is also lower than a majority of blockbusters releasing in modern times. Warner Bros. and Todd Phillips are obviously going for a small-scale crime drama, a focused story without large, bombastic CGI creations and big stars.
The movie has also yet to be given a release date by the studio, although most outlets predict we could see it come in 2019.
Joaquin Phoenix is currently the only actor attached to the project, playing the pivotal main character himself. More casting news will likely drop in the coming weeks as the movie begins shooting this September in New York.
Emma Tillinger Koskoff of The Wolf of Wall Street acclaim is producing the film, with Richard Baratta attached as an executive producer. Original reports had Martin Scorsese himself producing, however it looks as though he has since left the project.
Overall, the Joker solo film is set to be one of the most refreshing things DC Comics has done since Batman Begins. It is shaping up to be a small-scale, high quality and laser-focused crime drama without the hassle and strings of a cinematic universe. Todd Phillips will have full creative control to do whatever he wants with the IP without having to worry about his next appearance.
The Joker movie will be a one-off without sequels and spin-offs, and the comic book movie landscape desperately needs more of this. As great as the Marvel influence has been, it will be extremely refreshing to see a director have full creative control to do something insane with a character they enjoy and appreciate. Hopefully, other studios take note of what Warner Bros. is doing with this one and we see more of this.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter