It may seem to be the role of a lifetime, but Joaquin Phoenix says that playing the Clown Prince of Crime in Warner Bros.' Joker origin movie would be just like any other part in Hollywood.
While Warner Bros.' DCEU still orbits Batman as one of the franchise's biggest characters, director Todd Phillips and producer Martin Scorsese aim to bring the Clown Prince of Crime out of the shadows for a solo movie about the Joker's origins, one that's separate from the ongoing shared universe. Over the years, the Joker has been played by many big name actors, and as fans look forward to a new era, Phoenix may be the next in line to take on the iconic role. Although Phoenix has been cagey about the subject, it appears that he's finally talking about the potential job.
Speaking to Fandango, Joaquin Phoenix breaks his silence on the Joker role and what it would be like to play the iconic Batman villain:
“I see it as any other movie. I wouldn’t say…'I won’t do Westerns.' It depends on what it is. I don’t really care about the genre, I care about the character and the filmmaker. If you have the ability to transcend the genre, then that’s what you want to do. So I wouldn’t say, hands down, no – I wouldn’t do that kind of movie. There are things where I’ve flirted with the possibility where there was the potential for this to be… something that’s actually interesting to me. But then for whatever reason they never got to that place where everyone else feels the same way. And that’s key. Everyone has to want to explore the same thing or else it just doesn’t f**king work. I’m not opposed to it. I don’t make decisions on budget or things like that – it’s really the filmmaker and the character.”
Introduced back in 1940, the Joker's origin story have been sporadically explained over the years, but there hasn't ever been a definitive origin story for the character - and that's the way comic book fans want it to be. While movies like Tim Burton's Batman have tried to expand the character's backstory, other entries like Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight have kept his origins a secret.
Phoenix has always been linked to comic book movies since the big boom of X-Men in 2000, but Joker could be his time to really shine in the genre. Superhero movies are bigger now than they've ever been before, and thanks to his impressive roles such as Walk the Line, Gladiator, and Her, it would be a struggle to find someone as qualified for a role like this than Phoenix. Even with the actor being known for a slew of high-profile roles, a Joker movie would be one of his biggest to date and it could propel his career even further.
Considering that Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, and Mark Hamill have all lent their talents to playing the Joker, Phoenix would be at home amongst the other Hollywood giants. Warner Bros. tried to showcase an edgier version of the character in David Ayer's Suicide Squad, but this is their chance to provide a different perspective on the character that hasn't been shown on the big screen before. Phoenix is still playing coy on the chances of him playing the Joker, but it seems that the actor is at least (publicly) aware of the project. Only time will tell if he actually takes on the Joker or not, but he better decide soon as the Joker film's production will reportedly begin this summer.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020