Joker Director Explains Why It's Not a Typical Origin Movie

DC Comics is presenting some major changes to the classic Batman mythos with their latest movie, which will tell the origin of the Clown Prince of Crime with Joker. And now Warner Bros. Pictures has released new details about the movie and filmmaker Todd Phillips' vision, revealing more about the movie's sadistic plot. And when it comes to Joker, it looks like it will make a lot of changes and instead explore how a person like Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck could become a violent criminal who takes over the Gotham City criminal underworld.

As part of the production notes for Warner Bros., Phillips explained how Joker is unlike a typical superhero origin story.

“I love the complexity of Joker and felt his origin would be worth exploring on film, since nobody’s done that and even in the canon he has no formalized beginning," explained Phillips. "So, [co-writer] Scott Silver and I wrote a version of a complex and complicated character, and how he might evolve...and then devolve. That is what interested me—not a Joker story, but the story of becoming Joker.”

Much like in The Killing Joke, all it will take is One Bad Day for Arthur to experience the darker side of humanity, which will then push him to explore his own violent tendencies.

“One of the themes we wanted to explore with the movie is empathy and, more importantly, the lack of empathy that is present in so much of Arthur’s world,” Phillips said. “For example, in the movie you see the difference in the way little kids and adults react to Arthur, because kids see the world through no lens; they don’t see rich versus poor or understand a marginalized individual the way adults do. They just see Arthur as a guy who’s trying to make them smile. It’s not inherent, we have to learn how to be unaccepting of others and, unfortunately, we usually do.”

We already know that the movie will make major changes to Joker's origin, as he will not fall into a vat of ACE Chemicals and turn into the pale-skinned clown that haunts the Caped Crusader. Phillips previously told the Associated Press that they're attempting to be as realistic as possible in the movie.


"He doesn’t fall into a vat of acid and come out laughing," Phillips explained. "That’s a comic book thing."

Joker premieres in theaters on October 4th.