A couple of days ago WB officially announced that the Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie is happening which will be directed by Todd Phillips.
Now Joaquin Phoenix offers up why he decided to take on the Joker movie while speaking with Collider:
I think [Todd Phillips is] 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 f-cking sh-t out of me or something. It might as well be the thing that scares you the most.”
Joaquin Phoenix actually reveals he had the idea a few years ago:
“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.’ And I said ‘I’m not gonna go, I can’t go to a general meeting.’ So I completely forgot about it, and so then I heard about this idea, I was like, ‘Oh that’s so exciting, that’s the kind of experience I wanted to have, with a movie based on a comic character.’ I felt like you could get something on screen.”
Joaquin Phoenix continues by explaining what sort of movie the Joker origin standalone flick is going to be:
“I wouldn’t quite classify this as like any genre. I wouldn’t say it’s a superhero movie, or a studio movie or a … It feels unique, and I think more then anything, and probably the most important thing, is Todd seems very passionate about it and very giving, and so that’s exciting. I think, underneath the excitement of these films, and the size of them, there are these incredible characters that are dealing with real life struggles. And sometimes that is uncovered and exposed, and sometimes it isn’t, and so I always felt, like, there were characters in comics that were really interesting and deserve the opportunity to be kind of studied. And so I think that’s what Todd sees appealing about this idea.’
The official announcement also offering the following description; so it sounds like this Joker movie will be something pretty extraordinary and will definitely be set apart from previous versions of the Joker, including Jared Leto who is set to return to the character in Suicide Squad 2 and additional Joker movies:
...the film centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of a man disregarded by society is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.
Joaquin Phoenix Joker Fan Art