It’s been almost a year now since we heard that Warner Brothers was developing a new standalone movie about The Joker with Todd Phillips directing and Martin Scorsese producing. Since then, Joaquin Phoenix had reportedly become attached to star although publicly he was denying any involvement. Now this week we finally have a press release confirming that Phoenix has officially signed on to star and the project is indeed moving forward. There is one minor change, however: Martin Scorsese no longer appears to be involved. Here’s an excerpt from the press release:
“Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that Joaquin Phoenix will star in an origin story of one of DC’s most notorious Super-Villains, the Joker.
Under the direction of Todd Phillips, the film centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of a man disregarded by society is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.
Phillips will direct from a screenplay he co-wrote with writer Scott Silver (“The Fighter”). The film will be produced by Emma Tillinger Koskoff and executive produced by Richard Baratta. The film begins production later this year.”
There is no explicit mention of Scorsese dropping out, but it seems unlikely that they would forget to mention him. The movie is expected to feel closer to a crime drama than a blockbuster action movie and is budgeted at a mere $55 million. Meanwhile the studio is still developing a separate Joker movie with Jared Leto in the lead role. Are you looking forward to seeing Joaquin Phoenix as the Clown Prince of Crime?