As part of a new interview in Empire magazine, filmmaker Todd Phillips has confirmed that the upcoming “Joker” film will be a whole new take on the origin story of the famed Batman villain.
The original, standalone story follows Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, and is not only a gritty character study but also a broader cautionary tale. Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Shea Whigham, Marc Maron, Josh Pais, Brett Cullen, Douglas Hodge and Robert De Niro star.
As the trailers indicate, the movie is very much its own thing and will not be featuring any Joker origin storylines from the comics be it “The Killing Joke,” “The Man Who Laughs” or others. In fact, it’s not even really about the man himself either. Phillips says:
“We didn’t follow anything from the comic books, which people are gonna be mad about. We just wrote our own version of where a guy like Joker might come from. That’s what was interesting to me. We’re not even doing Joker, but the story of becoming Joker. It’s about this man.”
He also says that Joaquin Phoenix was the first choice for the role ever since the start of the film’s pre-production: “We had a photo of him above our computer while we were writing. We constantly thought, ‘God, imagine if Joaquin actually does this.'”
Phillips directs from a screenplay he co-wrote with writer Scott Silver. Phillips, Emma Tillinger Koskoff and Bradley Cooper produce the film which opens October 4th.