The upcoming 80’s-set Joker origin film, simply titled Joker is a weird beast.
It comes during a time when DC Films has still struggled to get its shared cinematic universe off the ground and instead perhaps harkens back to the Nolan and early Snyder days of “filmmaker-centric” takes on these iconic characters. The filmmaker in question this time being Todd Phillips, best known for the Hangover series.
It has no connection to any other film in their universe, and falls under a still untitled “Elseworlds” type banner.
But! Joker also has a really great cast, including Joaquin Phoenix, Robert DeNiro, Frances Conroy, Zazie Beetz and Marc Maron. And despite the groan-inducing premise, therein lies some real potential. Phoenix has been chased by the studios for years to star in one of these things, so that this was the project that caught his eye says a lot.
Today, Phillips shared the below photo of Phoenix as the proto-Joker, here named Arthur…reports are that the touchstone inspiration is The King of Comedy, one of the great under-discussed Scorsese films.
Joker is filming right now, and is set to be released next October. It’s described as a “exploration of a man disregarded by society that is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.”