Last week, Joaquin Phoenix was in hot water after a video surfaced from the set of Joker showing the actor berating a member of the crew. Now, the video — which was initially released through an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! — has been revealed to be a fake, according to someone involved in the production process. In an interview with Business Insider, cinematographer Lawrence Sher — the "Larry" referenced in the clip — admits it was something staged by Phoenix himself.
Sher says to help with the tense production, Phoenix suggested the pair pull a prank on director Todd Phillips in an attempt to lighten the mood. "It was a bit," Sher admits. "Joaquin is actually a super playful guy and loose. He's such a good actor that nobody even got it on set. He played it too straight."
After the clip appeared on Kimmel, Phoenix instantly looked embarrassed before apologizing to Sher in what most would consider a weak apology, “I should probably publicly apologize to Larry. I am sorry, but he did whisper constantly while we’re trying to work, and sometimes it’s really hard to find the emotion you’re after, so it was wrong of me, I’m sorry, but he shouldn’t have done it," Phoenix said.
Despite the controversy involved surrounding the film, like the aforementioned video and various security threats, Joker has found solid footing commercially, grossing a whopping $248.4 million worldwide — $96.2m of which came domestically. In fact, the movie broke the biggest October opening weekend record set by Sony's Venom last year.
Critically, things are a slightly different story. As of this writing, the film has a 69 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, low enough to lose the coveted Certified Fresh badge it's already received. According to the site's Critics Consensus, Joker "gives its infamous central character a chillingly plausible origin story that serves as a brilliant showcase for its star — and a dark evolution for comics-inspired cinema." The review aggregator's Audience Score is much better, sitting at an astonishing near-perfect 90 percent.
Joker is now in theaters. Other upcoming DC Films movies include Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.
What'd you think of Joker? How many times did you see it opening weekend? Let us know in the comments section!