Despite becoming one of the most bankable genres around, movies-inspired by comic books have traditionally been ignored during awards season, especially at the Oscars. That tide has shifted quite a bit over the past couple of years, as studios have risen to the occasion and delivered more prestige comic films, which have in turn been more widely accepted by awards voters. Logan earned a screenplay nomination two years ago, Black Panther won quite a few awards and was nominated for Best Picture one year ago, and Joker saw more nominations than any other film in the 2020 field.
Joker has become a massive awards success story for Warner Bros. and DC and will likely take home a couple of Oscars on Sunday night (Joaquin Phoenix is as close to a lock or Best Actor as one could get). Even the co-director of the biggest movie in box office history, Marvel's Avengers: Endgame, is a big fan of the Clown Prince of Crime's origin film.
Joe Russo, who helmed Endgame with his brother Anthony Russo, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter ahead of Sunday night's Academy Awards presentation, where the record-breaking Avengers film is nominated for Best Visual Effects. Being a successful director of a comic book movie, Russo was asked what he thought of DC's billion dollar success story.
"I just saw it recently. Unfortunately I was shooting almost the entire time the movie was out. I loved it," Russo said. "I thought it was a beautiful piece of filmmaking. It was a very tragic, very modern story and really representative of existential isolation and the crisis a lot of people are feeling. The moment in it when he's on the talk show, where it's the idea of everyone in the world right now grabbing their megaphones and trying to shout each other down, and he's reacting against that. It's certainly a dark movie and a disturbing movie with a very important message to it. We're ecstatic that it's being recognized. It broke through the stigma that seems to be against these films, certainly at the Academy."
Like plenty of moviegoers, and likely a few members of the Academy, Joe Russo is definitely a fan of Joker. Even if you're not a big supporter of the film, it's definitely helping other comic book movies make the leap into awards conversations, and that's a win for the entire genre.
Do you think Joker will take home multiple awards at the Oscars on Sunday night? Let us know in the comments!