It's a situation that has frustrated fans of comic book films for years. Even when they are not only financially successful but critically acclaimed as well, they simply don't get the awards season acknowledgement for their efforts. Sure, Heath Ledger posthumously won the Best Supporting Actor award for his turn as the Joker in The Dark Knight, Logan snagged a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for the 2017 film, and Black Panther stunned by receiving a Best Picture nomination, but those are simply outliers -- surprising nominations with only one award actually received. Comic book films are largely relegated to technical awards. Now, though, with a new report theorizing that Warner Bros. may be sending Joker to the Venice Film Festival, it's rumored that the film could be an awards contender.
Earlier this week, a report from Deadline speculated that Warner Bros. could be taking the Joaquin Phoenix-starring Joker to the Venice Film Festival. As festivals like Venice Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival start to generally set the stage for awards-season, most studios use them as an opportunity to introduce the awards contenders. For Fandangos managing editor Erik Davis, if Joker does screen at Venice Film Festival, it would make sense and could hint that Joker may be awards material.
"The Joker movie possibly playing the Venice Film Festival makes sense in terms of what I've been hearing about the film and that we may be looking at a potential awards contender here," Davis wrote on Twitter. "Joaquin Phoenix has been nominated for three Oscars, but he's never one. Is this his year?"
It's an idea one can't help but be at least a little cautiously optimistic about. The first trailer for the film revealed a movie with a decidedly different tone than what many have come to expect from not just comic book movies, but DC in particular. The trailer was more evocative of films like Taxi Driver and King of Comedy than anything we've seen previously within the genre. That said, there's still the long history of comic book films not receiving the accolades and honors in terms of awards season and that precedent could be difficult to shake no matter how well-crafted Joker ends up being.
The idea that Joker is being presented as an awards contender is also just rumor at this point anyway. The lineup for the Venice Film Festival hasn't even been announced yet and is expected to be revealed July 25th.
No matter the film's awards status, fans will get to see Joker for themselves when the film opens in theaters on October 4th.
What do you think? Could Joker be a serious awards contender? Let us know in the comments below.