Joaquin Phoenix's Joker movie: All you need to know

Sam Ashurst
Photo credit: @toddphillips1 - Instagram

From Digital Spy

The movie industry moves pretty fast. One minute Darren Aronofsky is trying to cast Joaquin Phoenix as Batman (with Gary Oldman agreeing he'd be the right choice), the next, Phoenix is being tapped up to play the Joker in the DCEU's first multiverse spin-off movie (which will run alongside the main continuity, which will include a Jared Leto Joker movie).

It can be harder to follow than a Riddler's clue, so we've brought all the pieces of the puzzle together in one place, for everything you need to know about Joaquin Phoenix's Joker film.

The Joker release date: When will it come out?

Photo credit: ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images

The film had already been announced by The Wrap for almost a year when we finally got an official announcement from Warner Bros. The studio has gone for the hugely-creative title, Joker, and will open the film in the US on October 4, 2019.

It's great to nail that down, with so many DC films in development right now and the darker nature of the story suits an autumn/winter release date.

The rumour mill had suggested the film will shoot in September, which turned out to be true so all seems on track for that October 2019 release date.

The Joker plot: What will it be about?

Photo credit: DC Comics

We've actually got some surprisingly detailed plot information considering how secretive the rest of the production has been so far.

Director Todd Phillips and producer Martin Scorsese's biopic will reportedly be set in the '80s, and it will portray the iconic villain as a failed stand-up comic who turns to a life of crime and chaos after bombing with audiences.

The premise sounds a lot like Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's seminal graphic novel The Killing Joke, where the villain was depicted as a struggling stand-up who snaps following a nasty turn of events, and decides to drive Commissioner Gordon as crazy as he is.

Warner Bros. official announcement of the project added a few more details, describing the Joker origin story as "an exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale".

The Joker cast: Who'll be in it?

Photo credit: Angela Weiss - Getty Images

It might sound like a bad gag, but even when he was almost confirmed to be in it, Joaquin Phoenix wasn't sure he was officially attached to the Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie everyone was talking about! But then the Joker would say that, wouldn't he.

The actor was typically vague whenever he was asked about it. "It could be an interesting character, I don't know." That's about as close as we've come to an official confirmation so far.

He never completely closed off to the idea. "If you have the ability to transcend the genre, then that's what you want to do," he argued. "So I wouldn't say, hands down, no – I wouldn't do that kind of movie. There are things where I've flirted with the possibility where there was the potential for this to be… something that's actually interesting to me."

"But then for whatever reason they never got to that place where everyone else feels the same way. And that's key. Everyone has to want to explore the same thing or else it just doesn't f**king work. I'm not opposed to it. I don't make decisions on budget or things like that – it's really the filmmaker and the character."

After all that faff, you'll be glad to hear that a statement released just before San Diego Comic-Con 2018 finally put all of this uncertainty to bed. Joaquin Phoenix will play the clown prince of crime in the Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie!

And we got our first look at his Joker – or is it Arthur – when director Todd Phillips revealed an image of the actor in character on Instagram.

Photo credit: @toddphillips1 - Instagram

Deadpool 2's Zazie Beetz could also be jumping from Marvel to DC (also known as doing a Josh Brolin) for this film.

Word is she'll be playing a single mother who catches the eye of the man who later becomes Gotham's Clown Prince of Crime.

Sadly, we barely had time to get excited about Alec Baldwin being cast as Batman's dad.

Just a few days after it was announced that he'd play Bruce Wayne's father Thomas, he had to exclude himself because of "scheduling" issues: "I'm no longer doing that movie. I'm sure there are 25 guys who can play that part."

The Joker trailer: When will we see it?

Photo credit: DC Comics

Given that it has a release date of October 4, 2019, we could see the first trailer at next year's San Diego Comic-Con in July. Until then, there's plenty of cool fan trailers out there to pass the time.

The Joker movie: Will it pass the "bacon" test?

Photo credit: Warner Bros.

It certainly seems like DC and Warner Brothers are carefully weighing up their options this time around.

"I think the good movies work better. Somebody once said the best business strategy in motion pictures is quality," chairman of film at Warner Bros, Toby Emmerich mused.

"And I think in a world of Rotten Tomatoes and social media, what's been proven is the better the movie - particularly in the superhero genre - the better it performs. You can't hide the bacon anymore."

Keep this page bookmarked for all the latest news, because we'll be updating it as soon as any fresh information comes in.

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