The buzz surrounding Joker is already pointing to it being one of the most imaginative comic book movies ever seen, as well as a dark exploration of the character. This reception was boosted today by an eight-minute standing ovation for the pic’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival, with stars Joaquin Phoenix and Zazie Beetz, and director Todd Phillips, on hand to answer questions at the event.
Speaking about his ambitions for Joker, Phillips had the following to say to the crowd:
“Why can’t you do a genre comic-book film like that? We thought this could be an exciting approach to this genre. I’m not sure what it means for DC or Marvel … It was a hard movie for us to get made, to convince DC and the studio at first, but we thought we would keep pushing because we thought it would be special.”
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Although the director has already admitted that Phoenix’s Joker will eventually be rebooted, it seems that Phillips has pulled off the feat of infusing a familiar character with a style and moral complexity that’s rarely seen in a major studio film. Furthermore, he’s cited at Venice the extent to which Joker is indebted to both Martin Scorsese’s work and silent landmarks such as The Man Who Laughs. How much this take on the Clown Prince of Crime will be sustained into future DC films is hard to say at the moment though, with some theories suggesting that this may not be the final version of the character.
In any case, we’re very excited to see what all the fuss is about when Joker hits theaters this October 4th. If some of the early reviews and the reactions at the Venice festival are accurate, then we could be seeing not only a great comic book movie, but one of the best films of the year. Not to mention an Oscar nomination for Phoenix to boot.