Joaquin Phoenix's Joker origin movie at Warner Bros. is moving forward as new story details emerge and, though the studio hasn't staked a release date, it's possible the film could release as early as late 2019.
Warner Bros. intend to diversify their superhero slate, launching a range of "Elsewords"-style movies that aren't connected to the continuity of the DCEU. The first of these is a Joker origin movie, and there have long been reports that Joaquin Phoenix was in talks for the role. Over the last month, there have been reports that the film has a budget of just $55 million, in marked contrast with the typical superhero blockbuster. More recently, there were rumors that the movie would actually start filming in September this year.
It looks as though all the rumors were right. Warner Bros. has confirmed that Todd Phillips - who co-wrote the script with Scott Silver - is signed up as director. The studio describes the film as being an “exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.” The movie doesn't yet have an official release date, but may hit theaters in late 2019.
Details are scarce when it comes to this mysterious Joker origin movie, as the character's backstory has actually never been revealed in the comics. Recent character descriptions seem to suggest the film will actually be inspired by Victor Hugo's The Man Who Laughs. Ironically, a film adaptation of that novel is believed to have been the inspiration for the character in the first place, so that would certainly be fitting. Curiously, there have been recent rumors that the film will actually tie into Matt Reeves's The Batman, given Reeves is believed to have turned in a script focusing on a younger Batman. If that is indeed the case, there's really no reason these two films couldn't interconnect.
The timing of this announcement surely suggests Warner Bros. will give away more information at San Diego Comic-Con this month. While the Warner Bros. panel is expected to focus on Aquaman, it's also believed the studio will find the time to promote other superhero films that are in the works, notably Shazam! and Wonder Woman 2. There's certainly no better way to catch the world's attention than to drop some major hints for this origin story at the world's biggest superhero con.
Source: Warner Bros.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020