It turns out the Joker origin movie won't feature much of the Joker's actual origin at all. Many longtime fans of the character know that the DC Comics character doesn't actually have any one particular story that defines his journey to becoming the Clown Prince of Crime, and that his actual identity before becoming the Joker is not solid canon. All that matters is that he was an unknown person who fell into a vat of ACE chemicals, which transformed him into the maniacal crime lord of Gotham City that many fans know and love.
But in Joker, Joaquin Phoenix is playing a man named Arthur Fleck who embarks on a slow descent into madness. And director Todd Phillips made it clear that there will be no chemicals that turn him into the Batman villain in this film.
"He doesn’t fall into a vat of acid and come out laughing," Phillips told the Associated Press. "That’s a comic book thing."
It seems like everyone involved with Joker is making at clear that this is not a comic book movie — in fact, many of them aren't exactly fans of those kinds of movies.
Producer Emma Tillinger Koskoff, who typically works with Martin Scorsese on his films, admitted that these kinds of movies aren't what she typically enjoys.
"It’s not my preferred genre, the comic book genre," Koskoff said. "I literally can’t watch those movies. I try but I can’t. I should but I can’t. But I love this movie. Even if I didn’t work on this movie I would love this movie."
The movie has more in common with Scorsese's The King of Comedy than any other DC Comics film, and it even features a supporting role played by Robert De Niro himself. Comedian Marc Maron also said he doesn't typically enjoy superhero movies, but he jumped at the chance to star alongside De Niro and Phoenix in a film.
"I have some issues with [comic book movies] and I generally don't like them," Maron said during an appearance on Conan. "I don't wanna be bullied into seeing those movies. I'm a grown-up, I'm not seven, and I think those movies are for grown, male nerd childs."6comments
Critics seem to be fawning over the new DC Comics movie, but it remains to be seen if it will be a hit with the general public when it finally premieres.
Joker hits theaters on October 4th.