Growing up with Jack Nicholson‘s Joker meant, for me, he was the definite style that fit perfectly into Tim Burton‘s Gothic vision for the iconic villain, but then arrived Christopher Nolan and that tease in Batman Begins. After the card was flashed we didn’t know for a long time if we’d see the character until The Dark Knight was announced and with it the surprising casting of Heath Ledger. But, of course, Ledger stole the show with a beautifully twisted, intelligent and understandable Mr J, rooted deeply in Nolan’s Batman Universe and became the pinnacle of performances, which even won him a posthumous Oscar, and now we’ve arrived with Joaquin Phoenix for 2019’s Joker.
Director Todd Phillips revealed last week a first look at Arthur Fleck and Phoenix just ticks the box instantly for me, take a look here if you haven’t yet. Oddly, there’s still a post-Suicide Squad Joker film in the works as well with Margot Robbie‘s Harley Quinn but I still haven’t warmed to Jared Leto‘s effort, it just feels too pushed, styled and lacking in class. Ironically, Robbie’s Quinn is great though, it’s a pity she isn’t getting her own film in its own right, she’s more than good enough to take it on.
But moving back to Phoenix’s Crown Prince of Crime and the latest reveal from Phillips, something just feels right about this already and you know the intensity this actor can bring, he’s got all the right chemistry to take our Joker from the ‘normal’ to somewhere else entirely. The clip below (or click here) is smartly sound-tracked with The Guess Who’s Laughing and the film is being produced by Martin Scorsese, as he ventures for the first time into the world of the superhero/villain with Phillips and Scott Silver (The Fighter) on screenplay duties.
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Joker is set for an October 2019 release, and co-stars Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Shea Whigham, Marc Maron, Brett Cullen and Josh Pais – I cannot wait to see what they’ve done and if it’s got any essence from The Killing Joke, that’d be great.