Months after we first learned of the potential project, it was confirmed this week that Todd Phillips is directing a solo Joker movie for Warner Bros., with Joaquin Phoenix officially signed on to play the iconic DC villain. Phoenix has finalized his deal, with shooting on the “dark” and “experimental” crime drama set to begin in New York this coming September.
THR noted this week, “Todd Phillips is directing and co-wrote the script, which the studio describes as being an exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.”
In a new chat with Collider, Phoenix just opened up about taking on the role, which has notoriously been one that seems to push actors into some pretty dark places.
“I think [Todd Phillips] is very impressive and he seems to have a very interesting understanding of this world and what he’s trying to say. And so there is something very appealing about that and working with him on this particular project,” Phoenix told the site. “It feels unique, it is its own world in some ways, and maybe, mostly, it scares the fucking shit out of me or something. It might as well be the thing that scares you the most.”
Phoenix also spoke on what sets this movie apart from other comic book films.
“I wouldn’t quite classify this as like any genre. I wouldn’t say it’s a superhero movie, or a studio movie,” he explained. “It feels unique, and I think more then anything, and probably the most important thing, is Todd seems very passionate about it and very giving, and so that’s exciting. 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.”
Scott Silver co-wrote the script. Emma Tillinger Koskoff (The Wolf of Wall Street) is producing, with Richard Baratta on board as an executive producer.