It's only been a few short days since Joaquin Phoenix finalized his deal to star in Warner Bros.' Todd Phillips-directed and Martin Scorcese-produced Joker origin film. Nevertheless, the actor has already made it clear that Phillips' vision for the Clown Prince of Crime is a fear-inducing one.
“I take a lot of time and consideration when making decisions and what I’m gonna work on always," Phoenix said in an interview with Collider. "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. 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.”
This Elseworlds-style origin movie is one of several films featuring the Clown Prince of Crime that Warner Bros. currently has in the works. The Jared Leto incarnation of the character will appear in the Harley Quinn solo film, Birds of Prey, Suicide Squad 2, the Joker and Harley Quinn film and another solo project.
Reports of Phillips’ Joker origin film first surfaced in August 2017, when it was described as “a gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film” set in early-1980s Gotham City. Produced by Martin Scorsese and written by both Phillips and Scott Silver (8 Mile), the project is rumored to explore The Joker’s backstory as a failed comedian, a la Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's acclaimed 1988 one-shot graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke.