Former Batman Christian Bale Says It's a Brave Thing for Joaquin Phoenix to Follow Up Heath Ledger's Performance as Joker

Christian Bale, the actor known to many for playing Batman/Bruce Wayne in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, is currently one of the many celebrities in attendance at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. Bale is there for his upcoming film Ford v Ferrari, which he’ll be starring in alongside Matt Damon. While on the red carpet, Bale caught up with Variety, who asked him about another film screening at the festival: Joker. The new movie sees Joaquin Phoenix as Batman’s biggest foe, so folks are naturally curious about Bale’s opinion considering he starred in The Dark Knight opposite Heath Ledger's Joker.

“Joaquin is one of the best actors around, you know, and obviously I worked with Heath,” Bale replied. “You know, it’s a brave thing to follow up that performance and he always makes interesting choices.”

“Dying to see it,” he added. “I wish them the best with that.

Phoenix’s performance in Joker has been highly praised since the film premiered at the Venice Film Festival last week. In fact, the movie took home the event’s top prize. Oscar buzz for Phoenix has already begun, so there’s always a chance he could be the second person nominated for playing the role. Ledger won the award posthumously back in 2009.

Joker was directed by Todd Phillips and 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:

"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."

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During the festival, Bale also spoke about Robert Pattinson becoming the next Batman, which you can read about here.

Joker is hitting theaters on October 4th, and Ford v Ferrari will be released on November 15th.

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