Joker reportedly may be eyeing a premiere at the 2019 Venice Film Festival, perhaps to kick off the movie's Oscar campaign. Warner Bros. raised many eyebrows when they announced a standalone Joker origin film that was completely disconnected from the DC Extended Universe franchise (which already had Jared Leto portraying the Clown Prince of Crime). However, more recently the conversation surrounding Joker has swung in a more positive direction. Back in April, WB unveiled the first teaser trailer, giving fans a taste of Joaquin Phoenix's compelling performance.
What made the Joker footage stand out when compared to other comic book adaptations is how different it felt. Several viewers noted how reminiscent Joker was of Martin Scorsese classics such as Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, expressing excitement for a hard-hitting character drama. WB definitely appears confident in what they have, since they could give Joker a premiere on one of film's most prestigious stages.
According to Deadline, Joker might receive a fall bow, with Venice a likely option. Both Phoenix and WB have found great success at the Venice Film Festival in the past; the former won Best Actor for his turn in The Master back in 2012, while the latter launched major Oscar contenders Gravity and A Star is Born in Venice.
In the last handful of years, Venice has become something of a hotbed for awards season. The past two winners of the festival's Golden Lion award, The Shape of Water and Roma, were huge players on the Oscar circuit, and Best Picture nominees such as La La Land, Spotlight, and Birdman all screened there. If WB wants to show Joker at Venice, then it's a sign the studio feels it could appeal to Academy voters. Historically, comic book films struggle to get nominations in the top categories, but in recent years Logan earned a nod for Best Adapted Screenplay and Black Panther was a Best Picture contender. With the new Academy membership, perhaps they'll be welcoming towards Joker if the final product lives up to its potential.
Of course, a Venice premiere isn't a guarantee a film will be up for Best Picture on Oscar Sunday, but this development gives fans an idea of how WB views Joker on their upcoming slate. The studio is releasing a few titles in the fall that appear to be awards players on-paper, such as The Goldfinch, Motherless Brooklyn, and a new drama starring Ben Affleck, though Joker could end up being their top dog since it's one of the most high-profile releases of the year. And with WB skipping Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con this year, making a splash at Venice would be a great way to generate buzz for Joker.
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
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- The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
- The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021
- DC Super Pets (2022) release date: May 20, 2022
- Aquaman 2 (2022) release date: Dec 16, 2022
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020