Joker doesn't open for another month and there is already a robust conversation bubbling around the movie. One fan already picked out a possible reference to Tim Burton's time with the character in the film. The part of the film when Joaquin Phoenix's transition into the Clown Prince of Crime is almost complete could hold a subtle nod to Jack Nicholson's Joker.
Fans know that Nicholson portrayed the Gotham villain in Burton's Batman from 1989. Until the era we live in now, overflowing with superhero movies, tv shows, and cartoons, he was the definitive version of the character in movies. Heath Ledger holds a special place in a lot of fans hearts for his haunting time with the character in The Dark Knight. But, now Phoenix has his turn to make a mark on the character.
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Now, whoever is your favorite Joker, no one can argue that Todd Phillips' film seems to be headed for some success. Critics have already been voicing their opinion of the film on Rotten Tomatoes where it gained a first-week 88 percent Fresh rating. Warner Brothers is probably loving the fact that Phillips' film seems to be garnering some awards season buzz already. Box office projections have also been favorable heading into the fall.
Shawn Robbins talked about Joker at length for Box Office Pro, and said that the film had record-setting potential for an R-rated feature. He predicted a staggering $100 million opening weekend with a possible record return in October for a restricted film. Venom currently holds the October title with $80.3 million opening weekend.
Robbins spoke on Joker's forecast, "Online chatter is embracing the hype, and our metrics now point to this clearly being the “water cooler” type of movie that inspires interest from a variety of demographics — not unlike another creepy clown movie from Warner Bros. in September 2017. We remain cautious in expectations for staying power as the R-rated film is likely to be divisive among general audiences, but odds at becoming the first-ever $100 million+ opener in October history look increasingly favorable."
Joker is a wildly different film from Burton's Batman films, and that doesn't look like a bad thing financially so far. People are calling the film a masterpiece and saying that this movie will extend what people think is possible with comic book movies going forward. Phoenix's version might even ingrain itself in the popular consciousness going forward if it is a big enough hit.
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.2comments
"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.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.