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Although we’ve only received a thirty second snippet, and a few other set photos I’ll show throughout this article, Todd Phillips has my attention. Somehow slipping under the radar for the past year, this trailer came as a surprise to me and I’m sure to a lot of other fans of this notorious DC villain.
This iteration of the Joker comes from filmmaker Todd Phillips, who is most famous for his work on all three of the ‘Hangover’ movies. After looking through his filmography and seeing not too many “serious” movies, I was a little worried, but having a background in comedy may give him an interesting advantage in displaying the Joker’s twisted sense of humor. Also, having an actor like Joaquin Phoenix who has shown us time and time again that he cannot play a bad role, we can definitely rest easy. I’m not going to set any unrealistic expectations like some people did for Jared Leto’s Joker, which was a serious disappointment, nor will I even begin to compare Phoenix’s Joker with Heath Ledger’s.
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I feel that for a lot of die hard fans, this is the biggest pitfall they usually find themselves in: setting unnecessarily high expectations for something that cannot and will not ever be exactly perfect. Although most people would agree that Ledger’s performance is unmatched, to avoid any disappointment, it is best to look at any new iteration for exactly how it is instead of comparing it to previous versions.
Having said this, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker is going to be its own entity and should be treated as such. In a Collider article by Steve Weintraub, he says that the rumored budget for this project is around 55 million, which would “suggest a riskier take on the material and perhaps an R-rated release.” He also quotes Phillips saying, “[Joker] is an exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.” This means that the story does not have to connect to some larger arch in the DC Cinematic Universe; it will truly stand on its own as a one off rendition of the character. Weintraub describes it as a “graphic novel but in movie form. It deals with the characters you know but it’s a self-contained story.”
I’m excited to see where else Phillips goes with the direction of this movie, but as for now, I think we are in good hands. And just to add the cherry on top, the film will also star Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Marc Maron, and Frances Conroy.
Rockstar, no guitar