Todd Phillips' Joker is one of the most anticipated DC projects period, let alone of 2019, and luckily fans don't have to wait too much longer to see what the director has in store for fans. This interpretation of Joker is completely separate from anything going on in the main movie universe, which includes films like Justice League, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and more, and that initial announcement caused some to fear there would be confusion amongst mainstream fans regarding the Joaquin Phoenix led Joker film. In a new interview with the LA Times, Phillips explained that while developing Joker he pitched Warner Bros. executives on creating a DC Black offshoot label to help separate it, though that isn't happening just yet.
Phillips calls the proposed DC Black label a laboratory for "independent-minded films about these characters." He also revealed though that it will probably not happen until Joker is out and reactions to this overall sort of idea are in."They're like, 'Calm down with the label — how about you do one movie?' " Phillips said with a laugh.
DC has done something similar in the comics, introducing a Black Label home for their more mature and adult-themed stories, which includes projects like Batman Damned and Batman: Curse of the White Knight. Having some sort of separation between in continuity stories and Elseworld like tales would not be a bad idea, so hopefully, that does happen eventually.
Phillips also explained when the idea for Joker started really gearing up, and it was during the release of his film War Dogs. He noticed a billboard for another comic book-based project, and while he doesn't name a DC movie specifically, odds are the movie he is referring to in his story is Suicide Squad.
"I knew that 'War Dogs' wasn't going to set the world on fire and I was thinking, 'What do people really want to see?' " Phillips said. "The movies that I grew up loving, these character studies from the '70s, you couldn't get those movies made in this climate. I'm staring up at this billboard and I said to myself, 'What if you did a movie in that vein but made it about one of those characters?'"
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. You can find the official description 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 hits theaters on October 4th.