Joker, the new Todd Phillips film that follows the origin story of Batman’s biggest foe, has been a huge topic of discussion ever since it premiered at the Venice Film Festival late last month. The film is already garnering Oscar buzz for Joaquin Phoenix, who is another in a long line of actors to bring the comic book character to life. In a recent interview with Phillips and Phoenix, The New York Times revealed that while Phoenix was always the top choice for the part, he wasn’t originally sold on the film.
“He was not keen on jumping into costume in any comic-book movie,” Phillips explained. “It’s not necessarily in his five-year plan — although I don’t think he has one.”
Despite previous reports that Joker was considering casting Leonardo DiCaprio, Phillips revealed, “We wrote the movie for Joaquin.”
Phillips shared that he visited Phoenix’s house many times over the course of three months where he answered the actor's “many, many questions” about Arthur Fleck, hoping to win Phoenix over “through sheer persistence.”
“I asked him to come over and audition me for it,” Phoenix shared. “It wasn’t an easy decision, but he kept saying, ‘Let’s just be bold. Let’s do something.’”
Phillips added, “I kept waiting for him to just say, ‘O.K., I’m in,’ And he never did that.” Phoenix explained, “You just never get a yes. All you get is more questions.”
Joker also stars Zazie Beetz (Sophie Dumond), Robert De Niro (Murray Franklin), Brett Cullen (Thomas Wayne), Frances Conroy (Penny Fleck), Marc Maron (Ted Marco), Douglas Hodge (Alfred Pennyworth), Josh Pais (Hoyt Vaughn), Bryan Tyree Henry, Bryan Callen, Shea Whigham, and Glen Fleshler. You can find the official description for the movie below:1comments
"Drama. 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 (Joaquin Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study but also a broader cautionary tale."
Joker is hitting theaters on October 4th. Other upcoming DC films include Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, and Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020.