Comic book films have been the dominating force at the box office in recent years, though the financial success of the films doesn't always result in acknowledgment of their artistic achievements. Back in 2008, Heath Ledger was nominated for an Academy Award for his role of the Joker in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, yet subsequent years have mostly seen comic book films earn prestigious nominations exclusively in technical categories. Black Panther shocked audiences by earning a Best Picture nomination at this year's Academy Awards, despite its failure to take home the gold. A new report from Deadline theorizes that Warner Bros. could be bringing their upcoming comic book movie Joker to the Venice Film Festival, which would dramatically alter the perception of the picture.
While the Sundance Film Festival is the first major cinematic event of each year, it's events like Venice Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival, which take place in August and September, that typically set the stage for awards season, with studios debuting their awards contenders there to build buzz ahead of their releases. A far cry from the Joker we saw in Suicide Squad, the Todd Phillips-directed Joker is already earning buzz thanks to the involvement of actors Joaquin Phoenix and Robert De Niro and producer Martin Scorsese. The first trailer for the film has confirmed that it aims to evoke films like Taxi Driver and King of Comedy more than the neon-soaked entries into the DC Extended Universe.
Warner Bros. will be skipping Hall H at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, confirming the shift in its marketing strategy for Joker and its various other properties. The lineup for the Venice Film Festival is expected to be revealed on July 25th.
Joker centers around the iconic arch-nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. The exploration of Arthur Fleck (Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.
Star Pheonix previously explained not only what drew him to the production but also what sets it apart from the character's various other appearances in film and TV.
"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," Phoenix explained to Collider. "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."
Joker lands in theaters on October 4th.
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