Warner Bros. made an announcement regarding the release of the standalone Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix, on Wednesday afternoon ahead of the start of San Diego Comic Con. The studio gave the green light to the origin movie earlier this month and now we can confirm that it will be released on October 4, 2019. With that, some new details for the film – including the lead character’s real name – have been revealed.
The script is said to be dark but will give a unique look at the villainous character. The script is written by director Todd Phillips and Scott Silver. The story has been described as “exploration of a man disregarded by society, not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.” The film will explore what it took for The Joker to become the criminal mastermind that we know him as. Emma Tillinger Koskoff is producing and Richard Baratta is executive producing. The studio have set a September start date with a modest budget in the $55 million range.
A report from ThatHashtagShow revealed:
We have learned that Joaquin Phoenix’s character will begin the film as Arthur Fleck before the series of events that drives him to become the Joker. As we told you before, Phillips’ film will follow Fleck as he returns to a city on the brink. We believe that Fleck will return home to live with his aging (perhaps dying?) mother, Penny, in her apartment. It’s here that he’ll likely meet Sophie Dumond, the single-mother set to be played by Zazie Beetz, and begin his descent into madness described as the “exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.”
It also added:
Interestingly enough, a recent report indicated that Robert DeNiro, whose potential role in the film we first told you about here, had joined the film. If true, we can confirm that DeNiro will portray the role of late night-TV host Murray Franklin. We also know that Thomas Wayne will featured in the film, described as “cheesy, tanned” and rich-looking (remember this is from the Joker’s POV), and that he will be in his 60s. Could Thomas Wayne’s bastard become Bruce’s lifelong enemy?
Fleck’s mother was described as “very attractive in her youth“, “obsessed with her former employer” and unable to believe “this is what her life has come to.” Could Phillips’ origin story be setting the stage for a deeper connection between Bruce and the Joker than we could have ever imagined? While it’s just a theory, and a crazy one at that, it’s possible that Penny once worked for the Waynes and that Thomas is the father of her son.
Most comic fans have wondered about the Joker’s origins, specifically about what would drive a man to the depths of insanity where the Joker lives. It’s possible that this film gives us those answers.
The last take on The Joker we had was played by Jared Leto in 2016’s Suicide Squad, and the actor will be reprising the character for the sequel. Variety reported that Jared Leto’s Joker will also be getting a standalone movie, but that project will be completely separate to Phoenix’s.
The actor had a lot to say about the decision to give The Joker a standalone origin movie:
“I think, underneath the excitement of these films, and the size of them, there are these incredible characters that are dealing with real life struggles. And sometimes that is uncovered and exposed, and sometimes it isn’t, and so I always felt, like, there were characters in comics that were really interesting and deserve the opportunity to be kind of studied. And so I think that’s what Todd sees appealing about this idea.”
So now we know, the movie will be released on October 4, 2019.
Do you think Joaquin Phoenix will be a good Joker? Tell us in the comments!