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Early Buzz Suggests Joker Could Be Nominated for Academy Awards

07/29/2019 11:01 pm EDT

It's not the first time we've heard this, but it looks like Todd Phillips' Joker is shaping up to be a serious contender when it comes time for awards season. Awards scooper Erick Weber took to his Twitter profile earlier in the day to reveal his sources who've seen early screenings of the film are all aboard the Joker train. In fact, Weber says insiders fully expect Joaquin Phoenix to earn a Best Actor nomination.

Though it doesn't hit theaters until the first weekend in October, Joker will first be debuting at the Venice Film Festival. Festival artistic chief Alberto Barbera previously suggested he firmly believes Joker will in the running for some major awards.

"Yes, as usual they said they wanted to be in a more protected situation," Barbera told Variety. "But then [director] Todd Phillips said: “I don’t care if I run the risk of not winning. Why shouldn’t I go in competition when I know what we’ve I’ve got on our hands?”

"I have to say, Warners was convinced pretty rapidly, because it’s a really surprising film," he continued. "It’s the most surprising film we’ve got this year…This one’s going straight to the Oscars even though it’s gritty, dark, violent. It has amazing ambition and scope."

If it does earn substantial Oscars buzz, it looks like it will be another big year at the Oscars for genre films. After Black Panther and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse held steady in last year's awards, Joker would anchor this year's offerings. One would also think Avengers: Endgame would get a few of the technical nominations — say Sound Editing or Visual Effects — after it dethroned James Cameron's Avatar as the biggest film of all time.

Joker stars Phoenix (Arthur Fleck/Joker), 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. The full synopsis for the film is below.

"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 will hit theaters October 4th.

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