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Unread 2019-09-16, 04:35 PM   #151
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Joaquin Phoenix on Joker Prep: "We Were Literally Laughing"

The Joker is a role which is known to push actors mentally, as they consume themselves with the ideas of the popular DC Comics villain as a means to develop a character. Iconic performance for the role such as those from Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger have gone down in cinematic history, with that torch now being passed to Joaquin Phoenix in the villain's first self-titled movie. For Joker, Phoenix took a healthy amount of time to develop the character's iconic laugh, but admits he did not have to push himself to any scary, dark places for the performance which critics are calling Oscar-worthy.


"This is going to disappoint you, I don't think I [went to dark places], so we had a good time," Phoenix told ComicBook.com. "Honestly, or I'd feel like either I'm going to disappoint you, or I am going to seem like an actor that is not really committed, and you're like, 'He didn't really do good in that movie, he had a good time. He shouldn't have had a good time!'"


Phillips, sitting beside Phoenix, added, "We did laugh a lot." In fact, they often laughed until they cried while working on Joker, something which was clear as the actor and director laughed together while fielding questions after a screening.
"That was the thing, I saw somebody in the elevator, and they were like 'Wow, that was really f---ing intense' I was like 'Oh, we laughed like everyday,'" Phoenix said. "There was nothing really to laugh at, like 'Oh, we kind of are f---ed up! We literally were laughing. Everyday going, 'This is ridiculous! This guy is f---ing...' Yeah, I love those stories of actors, I kind of do wish that I was that way because it sounds so cool, but I didn't have that experience."


Phillips did add that despite the fun they had together, Phoenix did put a hearty amount of effort into prepping for the role. "You also prepare a lot more than you probably want to let on," the director said.


"Well whatever, but it's what we f---ing do," Phoenix quipped. "It's what you do, it's a regular job, it's what you do for your work."


While Phoenix is playing it cool, he and Phillips were so dedicated to Joker that they often took their work home with them. "I was telling my sisters the other day, we would arrive two hours before our call, be in the f---ing trailer working and then we would go home and we'd call each other," Phoenix said. "Well, we would text for a couple hours, then get frustrated with the texting, going, 'Just f---ing call.' I'd call you, you wouldn't answer a few times. And then I kept calling back and finally you were like 'What?' We would talk right? So, there was that."


Phillips says it was a "great process" and Phoenix says the entire experience was inspiring. In any case, it worked out, as ComicBook.com gave Joker a perfect score in the official review.
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Unread 2019-09-16, 04:37 PM   #152
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Joker Director Clears Up Comic Influence Comments

The Joker movie might not be based on one specific comic book story featured the DC Comics character but it certainly has its fair share of references and ties to that world. Despite making a unique and isolated film, director Todd Phillips still aimed to have this story represent the original comic book source material for the character, which is something some fans thought was not the case after earlier comments were published.


ComicBook.com spoke with Phillips after an advanced screening of Joker, where Phillips gave more accurate insight regarding his comic book inspirations for the movie. "It’s funny because a lot of you guys have probably reprinted something I said in Empire where I was misquoted," Phillips said. "I’m not gonna complain, I like the writer; he wrote a great piece where I said we didn’t take anything from the comic book world. It’s actually not what I said. What I said was we didn’t take anything from one particular comic. We kind of picked and chose what we liked from the kind of 80-year canon of Joker. We kind of pulled a few things that we liked.”


In crafting an origin story of sorts for the character, Phillips elected to bring things back to a certain time period which could reflect on the character's spiral into madness. Some of the Joker's stories in comics have been set in similar periods while others are completely different.


"For us, we never say in the movie it's 1981, but we always say, 'It's late seventies early eighties,' mainly because we don't want people to be like 'Wow that car wasn't out in 1979', so late seventies early eighties," Phillips explained. "But the time for me, the reason we set it there, well there's a lot of reasons. One reason was to separate it quite frankly, from the DC universe. When I pitched to Warner Brothers, and handed the script in, to sort of make it clear, this isn't f---ing with anything you have going on. This is like a separate universe. So much so, it takes place in the past, before everything else."
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Unread 2019-09-16, 04:38 PM   #153
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Joker's First Cut Was Much Longer

Clocking in at just over two hours, Joker is a slow burn which focuses on Joaquin Phoenix's performance of a character spiraling into madness, picking up the pace as it goes. However, the film was originally cut to be quite a bit longer -- leaving about a fifth of the run time on the cutting room floor before finalizing the theatrical version of the movie.


ComicBook.com attended an advanced screening of Joker, where director Todd Phillips popped in for a Q&A about the movie he crafted to leave audiences "unable to speak." As it turns out, the first cut of the film had quite a bit more length. "The first cut of the movie was 2 hours and 35 minutes," Phillips said. "And, right now, it's 2 hours and 2 minutes I think, with credits."


Whether or not any of those deleted scenes will ever make their way out is unknown. It's no surprise the first cut of the film was longer as the editors were then primed to tighten up the movie and leave any unnecessary bits aside. "There are so many cuts," Phillips says.


"I find it difficult to talk immediately after, a lot of films, this film in particular for me," Phillips said. "I found that as we've shown it to people, even when I just bring somebody to the editing room and show it to a friend, a film maker friend, whoever. And then you go, and it's over, and then, they need time, a little bit, to sort of process it honestly in a way." He accomplishes his mission, as the minutes, hours, days, and weeks that followed for those that watched Joker ahead of its release has left them forming new opinions and thoughts about it.


Throughout the production of Joker and developing the footage for those different cuts, Phillips and lead actor Joaquin Phoenix seem to have had quite a bit of fun.


"I saw somebody in the elevator, and they were like 'Wow, that was really f---ing intense' I was like 'Oh, we laughed like everyday,'" Phoenix said. "There was nothing really to laugh at, like 'Oh, we kind of are f---ed up! We literally were laughing. Everyday going, 'This is ridiculous! This guy is f---ing...' Yeah, I love those stories of actors, I kind of do wish that I was that way because it sounds so cool, but I didn't have that experience."
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Unread 2019-09-16, 04:40 PM   #154
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Joker Features an Awesome Callback to Batman: The Animated Series

DC Comics Joker movie is going to be a revolutionary release for the studio, and is now poised to be a major box office success, as well. However, the best part about Joker seems to be the sheer number of actual "Jokes" that director Todd Phillips has buried in the film, in the form of Easter egg references to many other pieces of Batman mythology.


We've already identified a major Batman v Superman Easter egg buried in one of Joker's most pivotal moments, as well as major hints that elements of Tim Burton's Batman (1989) may factor in, as well. Today, we have a nice visual Easter egg that connects Joker with Batman: The Animated Series!




As you can see above, Joker's fictional late night talk show "Live! with Murray Franklin" uses a font in its logo that's an exact match for Batman: The Animated Series! As stated, it's just one more indication that Todd Phillips and Co. are working references (or "jokes) to various iterations of Batman lore on the page and/or screen.


A major part of Joker's storyline seems to revolve around the subplot of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) trying to make his way onto the late night show stage of Robert Downey Jr.' s Murray Franklin. Franklin is shown ragging on Fleck's attempt at stand-up comedy earlier in the film, but it seems that by the climatic act, Fleck will go full Joker and actually be granted an audience on Murray's show. We can only assume that performance doesn't end well for anyone - which could, again, be an ode to Joker's horrific late show appearance in Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns.


Critics have generally praised Joker for being an intense and frightening character study / work of cinema. However, the movie has also generated controversy for allegedly conveying a thematic message that could be seen as incendiary or anarchistic. The filmmakers are leaning into those negative reviews though - using them as more "jokes" to promote the film. If you want to learn more for yourself, check out our spoiler-free Joker review!
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Unread 2019-09-16, 04:41 PM   #155
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Joker Director Todd Phillips Aimed to Leave Audiences Speechless

It's no secret by now that critics are loving Joker. The film is getting widely praised, including in ComicBook.com's official review. However, after watching the film, it requires a good bit of thought from audiences as the many twists and mysteries set in on a moviegoer's mind in the aftermath of the dark experience. Director Todd Phillips admits, leaving moviegoers to process what they have watched without much of an ability to form words over it was part of his goal for Joker.


"I find it difficult to talk immediately after, a lot of films, this film in particular for me," Phillips said. "I found that as we've shown it to people, even when I just bring somebody to the editing room and show it to a friend, a film maker friend, whoever. And then you go, and it's over, and then, they need time, a little bit, to sort of process it honestly in a way." He accomplishes his mission, as the minutes, hours, days, and weeks that followed for those that watched Joker ahead of its release has left them forming new opinions and thoughts about it.


For Phillips, leaving audiences speechless based on the requirement of processing the film is a satisfying bonus. "I always enjoy movies that are difficult to speak about right after," Phillips said. "You go 'You know, I want to process this a little bit.' I always find those to be particularly rewarding in a way. It's not like that was a specific goal, but it is something that I always enjoy about movies, where you can't necessarily distill it down into a one line thing really simply. So, yeah, I suppose it was somewhat of a goal."


The movie dives deep into mental illness impacting the titular Joker character, whose real name is Arthur Fleck. Furthermore, it dives into how such an illness can be affected by the dividing of social classes which began to peak in the early 1980s, the apparent setting of the movie, which also sets the film apart from other titles which audiences might associate it with.


"For us, we never say in the movie it's 1981, but we always say, 'It's late seventies early eighties,' mainly because we don't want people to be like 'Wow that car wasn't out in 1979', so late seventies early eighties," Phillips explained. "But the time for me, the reason we set it there, well there's a lot of reasons. One reason was to separate it quite frankly, from the DC universe. When I pitched to Warner Brothers, and handed the script in, to sort of make it clear, this isn't f---ing with anything you have going on. This is like a separate universe. So much so, it takes place in the past, before everything else."
While Joker is unlike any of the other DC Comics movies which share an interconnected universe, it does share similarities with other real world movies which came out around the time period of its fictional setting.


"Another reason is because tonally, the movie is very much a character study that, I'm a little older than you, the same as the movies we grew up on and loved," the director said. "You go, 'God, those movies don't get made as much anymore.' They get made, these character studies. Social Network is a great one. There Will Be Blood is probably the best and the last twenty years character study. But in the the seventies and eighties, they where much more frequent. So, in a weird way it was also just an homage to that time. We are making a movie that feels like that, why not just set it there. It was not some really great thing, it was just a few reasons, and part of the reason that every film maker likes to do things period, is so that you don't have deal with f---ing technology in movies, because it's so frustrating. 'Well, if they have a cell phone that gets solved!'"
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Unread 2019-09-16, 04:52 PM   #156
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Joker: There's A Reason Why Phoenix's Character Dances So Much



As Joaquin Phoenix takes on the role of Batman's archnemesis in Todd Phillips' Joker, the movie's director explains why the Clown Prince of Crime does so much dancing.


Heading back to Tim Burton's Batman in 1989, Jack Nicholson had some fancy footwork as Joker. However, while Nicholson's Joker only danced in one scene to show off his larger than life personality, Phoenix's iteration of the iconic villain continues to dance as he settles into his own skin.


Following an early screening of Joker in Los Angeles, Phillips explained where Fleck got his moves. Phillips confirmed that Arthur Fleck was only supposed to dance in one of the movie's early scenes. "The only dancing in the script was the dancing, obviously, as a clown in the beginning, which isn't really much of a dance; it's a performance," said Phillips..


He added, "But the dancing on the stairs was there. Other than that, we didn't do it, but when we start talking about Arthur, we started talking about music and having music in him and that kind of thing." Originally, Fleck was only going to dance during the sign-spinning scene and another scene atop the stairs.


When it comes to Joker, Phoenix went off-script to add his own flair to his character. "The scene in the bathroom where he just starts dancing, that's not in the script; that's not in the thing," revealed Phillips. "That's just something that kind of evolved like 'Oh, this is a moment where we can show that it's kind of fighting to get out.' But I love the dancing in the movie. I think we should have more of it."
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Unread 2019-09-16, 07:39 PM   #157
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How ‘Joker’ Deconstructs What a Comic Book Movie Can Be




All the buzz on Joker since the film premiered at the Venice Film Festival has been praising director Todd Phillips and star Joaquin Phoenix for crafting a movie that digs deeper and goes darker than any other comic book adaptation that came before it. At the very least, DC Comics has never produced a movie that tackles one of their major signature characters in such an unsettling fashion.
We were on hand during a Q&A following an early screening of Joker and Todd Phillips discussed his approach to making a comic book movie different than what audiences have become accustomed to seeing.

Phillips didn’t necessarily set out to change comic book movies, but he did see this as an opportunity to tell a comic book story in a new way by possibly deconstructing them. The directed explained, “I just thought it was an interesting way to tell a story. I think it’s [an] interesting new approach to the comic book world.”
Previously we had heard that Phillips wasn’t pulling anything from DC Comics to help tell this story, but the director wanted to set the record straight on that front. He said:
“A lot of you guys have probably reprinted something I said in Empire where I was misquoted. I’m not gonna complain. I like the writer. He wrote a great piece. Where I said, we didn’t take anything from the comic book world. It’s actually not what I said. What I said was we didn’t take anything from one particular comic. We kind of picked and chose what we liked from the kind of 80-year canon of Joker. You say, ‘Oh that’s interesting. He was a standup comic.” We kind of like pulled a few things that we liked.”
When Phillips mentioned that he wasn’t using anything from DC Comics, that did worry some fans. But the positive buzz from the festival circuit seems to have changed their tune. But at the same time, it seems like this movie could have been told without being set in the world of Gotham City. Why did this movie need to be about The Joker? Phillips explained his reasoning:
“Could it have been called Arthur and it just be about a clown? Maybe. I just thought there’s a new way to tell a comic book movie and maybe I’m wrong. But [I thought] let’s do it as a character study. I guess a big part of what interested me about it more than making a movie called Arthur was to kind of deconstruct the comic book movie a little bit. That was part of what was exciting about it to me.”
One could argue that comic book movies might become even more mature in the wake of Joker, though that seems inherently insulting to some of the movies that came before it. Perhaps we’re just looking at a new evolution of the comic book movie that can more firmly plant itself in a different genre instead of being a typical superhero movie with vague elements of other genres. Fans can judge for themselves if the movie takes comic book movies in an exciting new direction when Joker arrives in theaters on October 4, 2019.
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Unread 2019-09-18, 01:03 PM   #158
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JOKER Spoiler Q&A Reveals New Details About The Setting, Sequel Plans, And Those Dancing Scenes

With Joker just weeks away from hitting the big screen, a new spoiler Q&A with director Todd Phillips sees the filmmaker reveal plenty of huge new details about the upcoming DC Comics adaptation...




Joker's presence at a number of recent film festivals means we've been hearing a lot about the DC Comics movie over the past few weeks, and following another screening this week, director Todd Phillips and star Joaquin Phoenix sat down with journalists to discuss a number of topics.

Now, we've rounded up the biggest reveals from that Q&A, including news on how much longer an earlier cut was, why Arthur Fleck seems to like dancing so much, comic book influences, and the reason Joker is set apart from the wider DC Universe. There's a lot of very interesting intel here, some of which borders on being particularly spoilery.


There's nothing here that will ruin the movie for you, of course, but the filmmaker does shed some light on certain creative decisions about the way the Clown Prince of Crime is portrayed.

So, to check out these new Joker details, simply click on the "View List" button down below!

Is The Joker Actually...The Joker?



In Joker, Bruce Wayne is a child while Arthur Fleck appears to be late 30s/early 40s. That obviously leaves us wondering how Batman and The Joker could ever really clash without the Caped Crusader essentially just beating up an old man!

Well, after saying that they never really gave it much thought, Phillips explained that there are many different ways moviegoers can view this story, including the Clown Prince of Crime being an inspiration for a future version of The Joker.

"I mean again, we have people who watch this movie who go, 'Oh, I get it.' And by the way, I’m not saying they’re right, they go, 'Oh, I get it, he’s not the Joker, he’s the inspiration for the Joker. He’s somebody that inspired the Joker.' And you go, 'That’s an interesting way of looking at it.' And they go, 'Why?' Well their age difference, and blah blah blah, and I go, 'That’s interesting.'"


An Earlier Cut Of The Movie Was Much Longer



Phoenix was asked whether he's seen the film, but Phillips stepped in to answer for him and revealed that there was once a version of the movie that's quite a bit longer than the one in theaters.

"It’s a hard question to answer," the filmmaker mused. "He came over my house and watched the movie. Because there are so many cuts. I mean, the first cut of this movie was 2 hours and 35 minutes. He saw that, then he came back. Right now it's 2 hours and 2 minutes, I think, with credits. so you have to ask him."

That means there will be a lot of deleted scenes on the Blu-ray when it's eventually released (well, hopefully), and could be an indication that we'll get a "Director's Cut" in the near future.


Will A Sequel Ever Happen?



Recently, Phillips was quoted as saying that he would be open to helming a Joker sequel providing Warner Bros. and Phoenix are also willing. However, the filmmaker has now clarified those remarks and makes it clear that he and the studio currently "have no plan for a sequel."

"The quote was, 'I will do anything Joaquin wants to do,'" Phillips clarified. "And I would. But the movie's not set up to [have] a sequel. We always pitched it as one movie, and that's it."

If you've read spoilers for the movie, then you'll be well aware that there could be a follow-up if everyone involved wants one, but time will tell whether that is actually going to happen one day.


Why The Joker Dances



If the trailers have made anything clear, it's that Arthur Fleck clearly loves to dance! It's a unique new character trait for the Clown Prince of Crime but one that has a reason for being there.

"I think one of the earliest things we spoke about was that Arthur had music in him," Phillips says. "You know, like it just existed in him. Some people that you might know personally have that feeling, and I always thought that about Arthur, but it was sort of kept in and trapped."

"And there was something about that evolving, but like the scene in the bathroom, which I think is what you’re getting to, where he just starts dancing, that’s not in the script, that’s not in the thing, that’s something that kind of evolved and like, oh this is a moment where can sort of show that it’s kind of fighting to get out."
He added that a lot more of these scenes were added during filming.


The Realistic Explanation For The Joker's Laugh



Joker is grounded in reality and that means the movie finds a realistic explanation for just about everything! That includes the villain's laugh, and Phillips explains that it took a lot of research to come up with an explanation for why Arthur would be afflicted with his unhinged cackle.
"No, we researched it, and I studied, quite frankly, that laugh and people it’s afflicted in different ways. Some people cry from this, and some people laugh. And it’s always at the wrong moment, and it’s really painful. And what we discovered is, it happens from head trauma as a young person or even older. And it happens from MS, which we didn’t necessarily want to give Joker/Arthur MS. So we went with this head trauma thing.

"The movie in every way tries to be grounded in reality as much as possible. It still has a foot in the comic book world, for sure, but we just kept thinking, “Let’s put everything through a realistic lens.” Like, why does he have a white face? Well, we’re going to drop him in acid. While it’s amazing in the comic books, and Jack Nicholson and all that, it didn’t feel very real that that would happen if you fell into a vat of acid. So let’s come up with a realistic answer for everything, and that was one for the laugh. So yeah, we researched it. Does that make sense?"
So, yeah, this version of The Joker was never going to end up falling into a vat of chemicals!

Why The Movie Is Set In The Late 70s/Early 80s



We've known for a while that Joker features a "period" setting and Phillips has now revealed that not specifying the exact year it takes place was a deliberate move on his part. "Well, for us, in the movie, we never say it’s 1981, but we say it’s late 70s or early 80s, mainly because we don’t want people to be like 'Wow, that car wasn’t out in 1981.' So late 70s or early 80s, but the time for me, the reason we set it there, was a lot of reasons," the director explains.

"One reason was to separate it, quite frankly, from the DC Universe," he continued, elaborating on his thought process here. "When we pitched it to Warner Brothers and handed the script in to sort of make it clear, this isn’t [frick]ing with anything you have going on. This is like a separate universe. So much so, it takes place in the past before everything else."

Todd Phillips' Comic Book Influences



Phillips has previously stated he didn't really look to the comics for inspiration and even said that Phoenix would have been happier with the movie being called "Arthur." Well, he's now clarified those comments. "What I said was that we didn't take anything from one particular comic. We kind of picked and chose what we liked from the 80-year canon of Joker and we'd say 'oh, that's interesting This is kind of...' We kind of pulled a few things that we liked."

"Yes, could it have been called Arthur and it just be about a clown? Maybe,"
Phillips admits. "I just thought, there's a new way to tell a comic book movie and it maybe I'm wrong but and let's do it as a character study. I guess a big part of what interested me about it more than making a movie called Arthur was to deconstruct the comic book a movie a little bit."
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Unread 2019-09-18, 01:11 PM   #159
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Unread 2019-09-22, 07:14 PM   #160
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Joker Director Reveals He's Discussed Sequel Ideas with Joaquin Phoenix

Joker director Todd Phillips says he’s “bounced around ideas” for a sequel with star Joaquin Phoenix, but the filmmaker is firm the DC Comics-inspired drama is planned to be a one-off.


“Well, I don’t think we’re gonna make a second one. That’s just not in our plans,” Phillips told Jake Hamilton. “But for fun, have me and Joaquin bounced around ideas? We were doing it when we were shooting, because that’s what you do sometimes.”


Phillips earlier said he hopes to one day reteam with Phoenix, telling Total Film Magazine, “I would do anything with Joaquin, any day of the week. There’s nobody like him. If he was willing to do it, and if people show up to this movie, and Warners came to us and said, ‘You know what? If you guys could think of something…’ Well, I have a feeling that he and I could think of something pretty cool.”
The director later had to clarify those comments, saying during a screening in Los Angeles he and studio Warner Bros. “have no plan for a sequel” to Joker.


“The quote was, ‘I will do anything Joaquin wants to do,’” Phillips explained. “And I would. But the movie’s not set up to [have] a sequel. We always pitched it as one movie, and that’s it.”


But because Batman’s archenemy is a character who can be “infinitely interpreted,” Phillips expects the first Joker solo movie won’t be the last.


“What we’re trying to do with this film is do something entirely different from the comic book movies that have come before. And not because those aren’t cool but just because we want to try something different,” he previously told AP News. “But this won’t be the last Joker movie ever made. Something tells me that in 10 years someone else is going to do something.”


Calling past iterations of the character “all brilliantly unique,” Phillips continued, “This is one more group’s interpretation of a character that can be infinitely interpreted.”
Director Todd Phillips “Joker” centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone fictional story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night… but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty character study.
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Unread 2019-09-22, 07:15 PM   #161
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Joaquin Phoenix Reveals How Joker Will React to Meeting Batman

Joker is still racking up rave reviews from a number of different outlets, and the momentum looks like it's going to keep up through October. Joaquin Phoenix sat down with Jake Hamilton to talk about a number of topics, including what it would be like if his Joker met Batman for the first time. The actor was very pensive about that question and gave his honest answer about it.


Specifically, Hamilton asked what his initial reaction to a man dressed like a bat would be. The image itself is almost as surreal as Joker dancing down the staircase in all the promotional material around the film. Phoenix took a second before offering, "I haven’t thought about that. I feel under pressure, you seem excited, I see that energy and I want to reciprocate that, but I don’t know what his reaction will be. I imagine that he would feel a surge of excitement."


October will bring Todd Phillips' Joker into theaters where audiences will be able to determine their reactions first hand. The movie is actually an origin story for the character and the more grounded approach to the material made Batman a bit of a stretch this time out. But, rest assured there are nods in the margins for people who are looking for a little extra in the theater.


Joker has been divisive since the moment that details around the story were revealed to the public. In spite of the controversy, the R-rated character study has received rave reviews from its premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Joker eventually brought home the event's top award. That hype will probably continue until the theatrical release next month.



Joker is aiming to knock Sony's Venom out of the top spot for an opening weekend in October box office history. The Hollywood Reporter is saying that the film could be headed for a $82 million opening weekend. NRG has Joker on the high-end while other services have it hovering around $77 million. Whatever the case, those estimates are a far cry from the initial prognostications about film.


The budget for Joker wasn't even all that sizable, so that haul becomes even more impressive. Venom, for example, was produced for double the cost, and executives were overjoyed with that performance. Still, Joker's R-rating will make it tough for the film to compete with international audiences. But, that might not matter in the end if the movie makes the kind of money that experts are saying.
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Unread 2019-09-22, 07:17 PM   #162
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Joaquin Phoenix Reveals Unexpected Challenge While Filming Joker

Fall is here and Joker's big opening weekend is inching closer and closer as the temperature drops. There were a ton of different challenges in getting this movie off the ground and Joaquin Phoenix talked about some of them in a recent interview with Comicbook.com. Unexpected challenges are the name of the game when it comes to assembling a huge Hollywood film like this one. Sometimes great things can come from those struggles and learning how to manage them.


CB: This movie is a wild ride. As a comic book nerd, the pacing of it feels like you are reading issues. It feels like there are some pretty cool chapter breaks. I know you had mentioned before that you had learned a lot about Arthur as you did the filming. Was there a turning point on it for you? Where you felt that you wanted to take Arthur in a certain direction that you hadn’t planned on when you first started?

“I think there are several, but it was such a long time ago that I’m having a hard time remembering. You know, I don’t want to repeat myself and bore you, but a really transformative moment was after the Subway when he’s in the bathroom,” Phoenix began
He elaborated, “That was something that we really hadn’t anticipated. We talked about that scene all throughout rehearsal. When I really kind of struggled to find something that I felt really made sense to kind of illustrate the change from Arthur to Joker. There were things like that every day up until the last scene I shot where we did multiple versions of it.”


“It just was the nature of the character. When Todd [Phillips] and I became comfortable with that, it really began to emerge. That was a really unexpected, strange, and unique process for me. But, it was enjoyable," Phoenix concluded.

All those takes sound like a painstaking process and the gathering of those performances would probably start to wear a little thing. Although, from critical reception and box office forecasts, it sounds like Joker is headed for a very impressive October. The movie even picked up the top prize from its appearance at the Venice Film Festival this year to the wonderment of some of the entertainment press.


If that weren't enough, some of the experts have the film in line for a historic October opening weekend at the box office. Sony's Venom currently sits on top of the record books, but The Hollywood Reporter said that Joker could top that with a staggering $82 million opening weekend. Lower projections also exist, like NRG's figure of $77 million for the movie. But, still it looks like all that sweat equity is about to pay off for Phillips' latest comic book film.
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Unread 2019-09-22, 07:19 PM   #163
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Joaquin Phoenix on the Joker's Future: "We'll Just Have to Wait and See"

The newest DC Comics movie is a huge change of pace for the franchise so far. While they've created popular films like The Dark Knight Trilogy and Constantine that have been darker, their latest focus has seemingly been more light-hearted superhero fare. That all changes next month with the release of Joker, the R-rated Todd Phillips movie in which Joaquin Phoenix plays Batman's most iconic foe, offering an unflinching take on the violent descent of a struggling comedian. But will we see him become the Clown Prince of Crime that many fans are familiar with?
ComicBook's Jim Viscardi caught up with Joaquin Phoenix ahead of the premiere of Joker and asked if there were future plans for the character, and the actor could only be coy in his response.


"I don't know," Phoenix said with a sly smile, "We'll just have to wait and see."


There have been questions about the future of the character, and while director Todd Phillips makes it seem like this is a self-contained story, he's also revealed that he has ideas for future stories with the character.


“Well, I don’t think we’re gonna make a second one. That’s just not in our plans,” Phillips said in an interview with Jake Hamilton. “But for fun, have me and Joaquin bounced around ideas? We were doing it when we were shooting, because that’s what you do sometimes.”


Some fans are speculating that this character could eventually come into collision with Robert Pattinson's take on Batman after Matt Reeves finishes his first film. But Phillips also put that fire out before it could ignite, saying that this is a completely different take on the character outside of the mainstream DC Comics universe.


The director previously explained why he wanted to tell a story outside of the constraints of the franchise in order to do the character the justice that he deserves.

“I love the complexity of Joker and felt his origin would be worth exploring on film, since nobody’s done that and even in the canon he has no formalized beginning," explained Phillips. "So, [co-writer] Scott Silver and I wrote a version of a complex and complicated character, and how he might evolve...and then devolve. That is what interested me—not a Joker story, but the story of becoming Joker.”
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Unread 2019-09-22, 07:20 PM   #164
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Joaquin Phoenix Explains How Hard it Was to Nail the Joker Laugh

Rave reviews are still flying in for Joker as the film is still a couple of weeks away from release. One thing that the reviews seem to mention a lot so far is how haunting that new version of the villain's iconic laugh can be in the movie. Joaquin Phoenix sat down with Comicbook.com's Jim Viscardi for an interview on the press tour for the film. (Check out footage from the interview up top!) The question of how much of his laugh comes from his own mannerisms and which one belongs firmly to Arthur popped up.


Joker's laugh has always been a daunting proposition as so many performances of the character have been defined by that cackle. Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger Jared Leto, Cesar Romero, and Mark Hamill to name a few. Each one put their own unique spin on that piercing sound. But, how would Phoenix manage to separate himself? It turns out that he turned to some medical inspiration.


CB: You’ve told the story of how the laugh came to be. But, was there ever a point where you feel you nailed it? And how much would you say of it is partially your laugh versus the one you created for Arthur?

“I don’t know that there was ever a point. I think from take to take, there were times that it felt genuine and good and there were times it didn’t. There were some takes where I would stop halfway through because I would say, ’It’s not working’ and it was actually working fine,” Phoenix said.


He continued, “I don’t know how much is my laugh. It was really based on videos that I saw of people that have these laughing fits that are uncontrollable. That really was my model.”


Phoenix has talked about developing this distinct laugh before in interviews, and the prospect of pouring through these recordings sounds very eerie. This is proof of how much he has sunk himself into the role. Arthur feels more like a real person, albeit one with a slippery grasp on his own backstory, than in some of the other entries in animation or live-action.

That work looks like it is going to be rewarded because there are reports forecasting Joker's October box office dominance. The movie has been divisive from the word go as some people questioned whether the world needed a dark reimagining of the character. A strong performance at the Venice Film Festival that saw Joker take home the top prize was enough to quiet some of that.


Sony's Venom currently holds the top spot in October opening weekend history at the box office. The Marvel anti-hero might be in trouble though, as The Hollywood Reporter has Joker possibly raking in a cool $82 million opening weekend. Even lower projections from NRG have the film sitting around $77 million for that weekend. That kind of production could see DC laughing all the way to the bank.
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Unread 2019-09-22, 07:20 PM   #165
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Joker Director Todd Phillips Explains How Batman Influenced the Story

Todd Phillips' upcoming Joker is a bit unique when it comes to approach to the iconic Batman villain in that the film is, as the title would suggest, about the Joker. It's his origin story and it sounds like when it comes to the influence of Batman in Joker's story, there's very little. According to Phillips, he was able to make the Joaquin Phoenix-starring film with both DC and Warner Bros. blessing to do what they wanted to with the story -- including not have Batman be a major part of the story. That influence, or the lack of it, allowed for the film to strike its own balance and ultimately be its own, standalone film.


Speaking with ComicBook.com, Phillips was asked about finding balance with the comic book lore of Batman and the Joker as well as the real world they were building for the film and the director noted that while there was probably more influence in earlier cuts, the film ultimately found a different balance that was liberating.


"There was probably a little more in earlier cuts, maybe," Phillips said. "There definitely was a little more everything in the earlier cuts, but it was really about how fun it is that we get to keep one foot in the comic book world and one foot in not and like you said find that balance. It's hard to quantify how we found that balance, but it was, the movie is very liberating because DC, just speaking about comic books, DC as a company and Warner Bros as a studio really just let us do whatever we wanted with it. It wasn't like 'oh and you have to mention the Batmobile and you have to...' none of that. It was literally like 'yeah, were going to take this leap on this movie. Just go for it and do it.'"


The blessing to just "go for it" also means that the film's approach to Joker's origin will be one that is different from the character's general fall-into-a-vat-of-ACE-chemicals origin story from comics. Philips previously told the Associated Press that that sort of origin is a "comic book thing". Joker may be a comic book movie, but as Philips told ComicBook.com, it's also a film that stands alone -- even within the DC world, including Batman.


"This movie just stands on its own," he said. "I don't see that Arthur Fleck fighting anybody."
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Unread 2019-09-23, 12:49 PM   #166
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Unread 2019-09-23, 07:23 PM   #167
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JOKER Joaquin Phoenix Interview: Meeting Batman, Going To A Dark Place, Sequel, The Joker Laugh

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Unread 2019-09-23, 07:33 PM   #168
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JOKER movie interviews - Joaquin Phoenix, Todd Phillips - Gotham City, bullying

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Unread 2019-09-26, 12:44 PM   #169
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JOKER: Joaquin Phoenix's Clown Prince Of Crime Gives A Menacing Glare On A Grim New Poster

Regal has debuted another terrifying poster for Todd Phillips' Joker, featuring Joaquin Phoenix's titular Clown Prince of Crime giving the most menacing of glares as he prepares to make his grand debut.




With just about a week to go, Regal Cinemas have debuted a terrifying new poster for Todd Phillips' highly-anticipated Joker, featuring an extremely menacing image of 3x Academy Award-nominee Joaquin Phoenix (The Sisters Brothers) as he prepares to make his grand debut as Gotham's notorious Clown Prince of Crime.

In addition to Phoenix, the film also stars Robert De Niro (The Irishman), Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2), Frances Conroy (American Horror Story), Brett Cullen (The Dark Knight Rises), Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta) and Marc Maron (GLOW).


The following poster is actually an exclusive numbered art print that can be acquired exclusively through the Regal Crown Club rewards center for 1,500 credits.

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Unread 2019-10-01, 12:05 PM   #170
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Todd Phillips Explains How 'Woke Culture' Ruined Comedy, Led to Joker



Joker director Todd Phillips has revealed how "woke culture" directly led to his upcoming take on the Clown Prince of Crime.
Prior to working on Joker, Phillips was primarily known for such comedies as Old School and The Hangover. In a profile on star Joaquin Phoenix in Vanity Fair, Phillips revealed how he began to find making comedies difficult due to "woke culture" and that directly led to Joker, which he pitched as a dark movie without many of the typical conventions of superhero movies.


“Go try to be funny nowadays with this woke culture,” he said. “There were articles written about why comedies don’t work anymore—I’ll tell you why, because all the f*cking funny guys are like, ‘F*ck this shit, because I don’t want to offend you.’ It’s hard to argue with 30 million people on Twitter. You just can’t do it, right? So you just go, ‘I’m out.’ I’m out, and you know what? With all my comedies—I think that what comedies in general all have in common—is they’re irreverent. So I go, ‘How do I do something irreverent, but f*ck comedy? Oh I know, let’s take the comic book movie universe and turn it on its head with this.’ And so that’s really where that came from.”


Despite initially positive reviews following the movie's premiere at the Venice Film Festival, Joker has proven controversial, with many wondering about the potential real world impact of the movie and its portrayal of violence. In September, a question about whether Joker might inspire violence led to Phoenix walking out of an interview. Still, despite the controversy, Joker is tracking to be a major box office success.
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Unread 2019-10-04, 12:36 PM   #171
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JOKER Spoiler-Free Review; "One Of The Best Comic Book Movies Of All-Time"

Joker is now playing in theaters but is this new take on the Clown Prince of Crime's origin story worth checking out? Absolutely, and you can find our spoiler-free verdict on the movie right here...




Joker is a movie that's found itself surrounded by controversy in recent weeks and it will now be up to moviegoers to decide whether that has been justified. However, look past the headlines and you'll find not only a great comic book movie but a film that's deserving of some serious awards attention next year.

Director Todd Phillips (perhaps best known for his work on The Hangover Trilogy) has emerged as a filmmaker who not only makes a jaw-dropping impact with his take on the Clown Prince of Crime's origin story but who will undoubtedly be one of the most sought after talents in Hollywood moving forward. Phillips and cinematographer Lawrence Sher deliver a beautifully shot, sometimes shockingly violent take on the Batman villain's past and it's impossible not to get lost in this version of Gotham City. It may be New York City with a different name but it also feels far more dangerous and real than any other previous take on the home of the Caped Crusader.


The Joker has never had a definitive origin story and that's allowed Phillips to deliver his own "Killing Joke" in a fascinating and tragic look at one man's descent into madness. Society has turned its back on the mentally ill Arthur Fleck and a series of unfortunate events leads to him heading down a very dark path that will change him, and Gotham, forever.

It is, of course, down to Joaquin Phoenix to bring Fleck to life and his physical, mesmerising performance is truly unmissable. What we see here is an actor who is undeniably on a different level to pretty much everyone else out there. From his strained cackle to his skeletal frame and the momentary glimpses of madness that cross his face, Phoenix is firing on all cylinders and this is a performance which will leave us with plenty to talk about for years to come. The supporting cast is fine but they're all just there to fill in the gaps in Arthur's world; this is very much Phoenix's movie and while Robert DeNiro certainly makes a memorable impact as talk show host Murray Franklin, there's only one person who will be (deservedly) picking up award after award next year.

Hildur Guðnadóttir's score is fantastic as is the soundtrack. It's a shame that there's no sign of Elton John's "Bennie and the Jets" (a song which was rumoured to play a large role in the film's climax) but that takes nothing away fromwhat we're seeing and Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll" is a good substitute despite being a somewhat controversial choice given the singer's history.

Joker is definitely influenced by the comic books and there's plenty here for fans to appreciate. At its core, though, while it may not feature the villain battling it out with The Batman, this is just a masterclass in acting and filmmaking. It would have been nice to spend a little more time with Arthur as Joker but when the time comes for that, you won't move from the edge of your seat.

One of the best comic book movies of all-time, Joker takes us to some dark places but it's a richly rewarding (and haunting) experience which is anchored by an unbelievable performance from Joaquin Phoenix. It's a masterpiece.

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Unread 2019-10-08, 11:35 PM   #172
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Saw this today, the trailers have been misleading but it appears to be on purpose. It's a slow burn movie for sure up until 30-40 mins out. I applaud Phoenix for the role for sure.
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Unread 2019-10-09, 04:01 AM   #173
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Saw this today, the trailers have been misleading but it appears to be on purpose. It's a slow burn movie for sure up until 30-40 mins out. I applaud Phoenix for the role for sure.
I can't wait to see it, but probably won't be for a couple weeks.

Any person I've talked to said it's fantastic. Reviews I've read are a mixed bag. The common knock I see is that essentially, Philips tried to make a Taxi Driver/King of Comedy mashup and didn't succeed in either way. Based on the trailers and what I've read, it sounds like there are definitely parallels.

Regardless, I can't wait to see it. Might have to just go alone when I have a random few hours.
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Unread 2019-10-09, 04:49 AM   #174
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Those 2 movies have influenced this a lot ( I thought) it's been a little bit since I've seen Taxi Driver and I got a quick rundown on the other, it's there and he made it work
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Unread 2019-10-09, 03:22 PM   #175
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Those 2 movies have influenced this a lot ( I thought) it's been a little bit since I've seen Taxi Driver and I got a quick rundown on the other, it's there and he made it work
The trailers alone put off that vibe quite a bit, especially given De Niro’s character in this appears to be the exact same character Jerry Lewis plays in KOC.

At any rate, I’m pumped to see it. I just wish I had time to see it sooner.
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