In a move guaranteed to excite and enrage legions of DC fans, Warner Bros. officially announced a standalone Joker film. Set for release in Fall 2019, the upcoming Joker movie follows the Clown Prince of Crime's origin story as a comedian struggling to make it big. It already boasts a few high-profile names on its cast and the storyline will reportedly exist completely independent of previous DC extended universe films. Some even suspect the new Joker movie, a reportedly low-budget and dark endeavor, might join the ranks of R-rated superhero films. After the fan backlash against Jared Leto's Joker, studios definitely have their work cut out for them with the Joker origin film.
The Origin Story Takes Place In The '80s And Stands Alone From Other DC Films
Set in the '80s, the film centers around the struggling comic, Arthur Fleck, who eventually becomes the Joker. But rather than tie the film into the rest of the DC extended universe, producers intend to keep The Joker as a standalone film, akin to a "DC graphic novel but in movie form." This allows the studio a little more liberty with the story, which some sources suspect may be gritty enough to warrant an R-rating, a quality that truly would set it apart from the legion of other superhero films out there.
Joaquin Phoenix Plays The Titular Character
Acclaimed actor Joaquin Phoenix will be playing the Joker, which is just the type of role he says he has wanted to play for some time now, thought not necessarily as the Clown Prince of Crime:
Three or four years ago, I called my agent and said "Why don’t they want to take one of these characters and just make a lower budget film about it, a movie but a character study, and why not take one of the villains?" And I thought, "You can’t do the Joker, because, you know, it’s just you can’t do that character, it’s just been done." So I was trying to think of other characters, and he said "I’ll set up a general meeting with Warner Bros."
That meeting led to the creation of this project, which Phoenix says feels "unique," and added that it "scares the f*cking sh*t out of [him]."
Sounds like just the sort of Joker film the people want.
DC Put Only $55 Million Dollars Into The Project
DC plans to invest a minimal amount of money in the Joker film. Though it would qualify as a hefty sum of money in most instances, $55 million feels remarkably small in the world of superhero film budgets. Compare this sum to Ant Man and the Wasp's $162 million budget, or Thor: Ragnarok's $180 million.
Those behind the film want it to be grittier and more of a character study than what viewers typically see in comic films, and they say it portrays "an exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale." Phoenix himself says he had considered doing a low-budget film of this nature for a few years, which means he and the studios potentially united over a shared vision.
Marc Maron Will Likely Play A Critical Role
According to Variety, Glow star Marc Maron is in talks to join the cast of the Joker origin film. Maron will reportedly play an agent on Robert DeNiro's talk show. His character books Phoenix's character for the show, eventually driving him crazy and acting as a catalyst for his transformation into the Joker.