To recap, we know that the film will be directed and co-written by Todd Phillips (THE HANGOVER), for what is being described as an "exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale". "I take a lot of time and consideration when making decisions and what I'm gonna work on always", the actor said. While Jared Leto's Joker, who first appeared in Suicide Squad back in 2016, will continue to frolic around the DCEU's massive superhero epics, this film is expected to be more of a crime drama produced with a budget of around $55 million.
"He seems to have a very interesting understanding of this world and what he's trying to say", Phoenix said, speaking about Phillips.
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"And so there is something very appealing about that and working with him on this particular project", he adds. "It might as well be the thing that scares you the most". I wouldn't say it's a superhero movie, or a studio movie or a. "And I thought, 'You can't do the Joker, because, you know, it's just you can't do that character, it's just been done'".
It's unclear whether the film will have any connection to any other Warner Bros. With that announcement earlier this week, many fans are already imagining how Phoenix would look like as the Joker, with many talented artists finding inspiration from how the character is portrayed in the comics, TV shows and films among other media. The fact that Joaquin Phoenix wanted to play a supervillain isn't surprising. Under Todd Phillips' direction, will the Academy Award-nominated actor bring a level of gravitas to the most iconic comic book villain of all-time that hasn't been seen in almost a decade? Phoenix said he focuses more on whether the director will be happy with his performance, since the general audience's approval of him is simply a "magnified version of what you deal with as an actor". He finds Phillips' want to dive into the "real life struggles" of comic characters that is often left unexposed in the film, and that he always felt these comic characters deserved to be studied and that Phillips finds this idea "appealing". Now, it seems Phoenix has gotten his wish, and he's apparently set to make a film that, in his eyes, isn't a comfortable fit in any particular genre box. Whether it be politics, the environment, Star Wars movies, or nearly any subject out there, you have people arguing about it online and in public, and it can get uncomfortable really fast. You can read the rest of the interview with Phoenix over at Collider.