I’m not really the biggest fan of the DCEU these days. With a real lack of direction from Warner Bros. and actors reportedly wanting out of the connected universe almost every week, it’s hard to get excited about the next DC cinematic
disaster film. That was until we got our first looks at Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. Let’s start with the makeup test that was released over the weekend:
— Warner Bros. Pictures (@wbpictures) September 21, 2018
Now, I’ve seen mixed opinions on this Joker. Some say that Phoenix looks less like the Clown Prince of Crime and more like a traditional clown you would see at a bad birthday party. Others are far more optimistic on the new look, applauding it for its originality. Sidenote: Does anybody still hire clowns for birthday parties? Generally curious.
If I had to pick I side, I’m somewhere in the middle. While I feel that Phoenix looks way more threatening than your ordinary clown, the look is far from original. He honestly has a closer resemblance to the mask used by Heath Ledger’s Joker in the opening of The Dark Knight than anything else.
So, after the first impression, I came away with a reaction of “meh”. It was a fantastic song choice and Phoenix looked great as Arthur Fleck but the Joker makeup just didn’t impress me in the slightest. Then we got this leaked set video from TMZ, revealing the entire costume:
I’m now sold. It doesn’t matter if the trailers are bad and everyone tells me the movie will be garbage, I’m still going to see it. Look, if I spent money to see this:
Then I can justify going to the theaters for Joker based off of what I’ve seen so far.
Not only is Joker’s suit a nice homage to the old school look of the character (played by Cesar Romero in the 1960s Batman TV series) but there are some elements from Ledger’s Joker in there as well.
I have completely bought into Joaquin Phoenix as Joker. The guy just looks terrifying as he walks off the train without any reservations about whatever chaos he just created. Nicholson’s Joker was a mobster turned madman, Ledger was a calculated lunatic dedicated to watching the world burn, Leto’s version was…..a gangster I guess (that movie is like a drunken blur to me now, thankfully), and Phoenix’s Joker appears to be an unstable person who completely snapped after having the worst day imaginable.
There is an amazing movie sitting there with or without The Dark Knight’s involvement. Speaking of the Wayne family.
Thomas Wayne playing a major role in the plot is another intriguing aspect of the movie as well. The inclusion of Thomas, who appears to be running for mayor in the origin film (based off of the set video), confirms that we won’t see Ben Affleck or any other actor appear as Batman. This could potentially create a problem of who exactly will play off of Joker? Thomas Wayne? The Gotham police? A young Jim Gordon maybe?
If I’m being honest with you, my opinion is likely to change a bit based off of how Sony’s Venom does this October. Venom is more important to DC and Warner Bros. than you would initially think due to it being the first villain-centric movie without the main hero involved.
One thing I know for sure is that I’m very hopeful and excited for Joker. Way more than I was a few weeks ago. Joaquin Phoenix is the perfect choice for the iconic villain and I absolutely love the direction and care that director Todd Phillips is giving the movie. The only concerns I still have is who will be the foil for Joker and how the movie plans to turn Arthur Fleck into one of the most insane people in DC Comics history.
What are your thoughts on Joker so far? Are you planning on seeing it next year? Let us know in the comments and be sure to follow us here at The Nerd Stash for all of your nerdy news and needs!