Maybe talk of Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker isn't so crazy after all?
Back in February, we reported that Joaquin Phoenix was in talks to play the Joker in an origin film written by Todd Phillips (The Hangover franchise). The film has been described as a gritty crime movie, and is said to hold no continuity with the rest of the DCEU, which would leave room for another Joker in the Universe, along with the version that Jared Leto brought to life in Suicide Squad.
In a recent interview with Fandango, Phoenix was asked point blank if he was going to play the Joker in Phillips' film. Here's how they described the exchange:
“I don’t know… it could be an interesting character, I don’t know,” Phoenix said with a bit of a mischievous grin on his face. When we told Phoenix that he’d make a really good Joker and that he should do it, he sat back, smiled, rubbed his hands together and gave a look as if to say, well, we’ll see.
So... it's not a no... but it's not a yes, either. Phoenix could just be having a little fun with the question, or he could be genuinely considering the role. Phoenix is seemingly one of the few big-name actors out there who hasn't worked on a big-budget comic book film, though not for lack of trying. He was reportedly in contention for major roles in both Doctor Strange and Batman v Superman, but ultimately didn't join either project.
In a separate interview with Time Out in 2014, Phoenix noted that he'd been reluctant to pull the trigger on such projects, due to comic book movies tending to focus too much on action and not enough on character. Now it sounds like he's still sticking to that but leaving the door somewhat open: "I see it as any other movie," Phoenix told Fandango about the Joker origin story. "I wouldn’t say… 'I won’t do westerns.' It depends on what it is. I don’t really care about the genre, I care about the character and the filmmaker. If you have the ability to transcend the genre, then that’s what you want to do. So I wouldn’t say, hands down, no – I wouldn’t do that kind of movie."
If Phillips' Joker movie is a go, it could be the perfect way for Phoenix to dip his toe into the comic book movie world. He is an eclectic actor, known for taking on strange roles -- and performing them strangely. The Joker is certainly not a "normal" character, and with this film not being set in the previously established DCEU, he could probably get out of the production without signing on for multiple films, which has reportedly been one of the reasons Phoenix hasn't signed on to any superhero films thus far.
What do you think of Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker? Let us know in the comments!