Director Todd Phillips and actor Joaquin Phoenix have both made it abundantly clear that the upcoming Joker will be relatively grounded. From what has been described, the film is more a character study and less a superhero film. That being said, this is still the same character destined to become the Dark Knight's most infamous foe.
We won't see Phoenix's Joker meet Batman, but Phoenix has some idea of what that confrontation would be like if we did. When asked about Joker's potential reaction to the Caped Crusader, Phoenix initially admitted that he "hadn't thought about that. I feel under pressure, I want to give you a great answer -- something that's fun." After some thought, the Oscar-nominated actor speculated, "I imagine that he would feel a surge of excitement."
It's clear that Phoenix has a deep understanding of the supervillain he is ultimately portraying. In the comics, Joker has consistently shown an unnatural obsession with Batman, so much so that some readers and analysts have speculated that the criminal mastermind is actually trying to express a twisted romantic interest in the detective. Phoenix's Joker may have a different origin story, but it appears that this is still very much the same character that has fascinated comic book fans for decades.
Directed by Todd Phillips, Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais and Shea Whigham. The film arrives in theaters Oct. 4.