Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix and directed by Todd Phillips will officially premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. TIFF Co-Heads Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente today announced the first round of titles selected for the Gala and Special Presentations programs at the 2019 event.
“Some of the year’s biggest films will land in Toronto this September,” said Bailey, Co-Head and Artistic Director of TIFF in a press release. “We’re thrilled to unveil Galas and Special Presentations that bring the brightest lights in film to our Festival audience. Our new programming team has been hard at work for months to deliver the compelling stories, acclaimed filmmakers, and top onscreen talent that mark our two highest-profile sections.”
“I’m delighted to step into my first Festival as TIFF Co-Head to such a powerful slate of films,” said Vicente, Co-Head and Executive Director of TIFF. “Fast-paced, boundary-pushing, satirical — this lineup has films representing every corner of the cinematic landscape on top of a strong number of World Premieres. It’s a pleasure to be able to share these films with audiences for the first time.”
A film festival premiere seems appropriate for Joker given how Phoenix has avoided classifying the film as a traditional superhero or blockbuster movie. “I wouldn’t quite classify this as like any genre," Phoenix said during an interview. "I wouldn’t say it’s a superhero movie, or a studio movie or a … It feels unique, and I think more than anything, and probably the most important thing, is Todd seems very passionate about it and very giving, and so that’s exciting.
"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. 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
Joker is directed by Phillips and executive produced by Martin Scorsese. The cast includes Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, the man who will become the Joker, as well as Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, and Marc Maron. Production on the film wrapped in December.
Are you excited to see Joker? Let us know in the comments. Joker opens in theaters on October 4th. The 44th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5–15, 2019.