With all eyes on ‘Shazam!‘ at the moment, one might forget that it is not the only offering that Warner Bros/ DC is putting out this year, though the second film is going to be markedly different than the first. I am, of course, talking about director Todd Phillip’s ‘Joker’ movie, starring the great Joaquin Phoenix, which, to start off with, has been confirmed to not even take place in the same continuity as the rest of the DCEU (though by some accounts, this is the direction most of the DC movies are going, hence why ‘Aquaman’ barely mentions events from ‘Justice League,’ and why the people behind ‘Wonder Woman 1984‘ keep insisting that it is NOT a sequel to the original). And while ‘Shazam!’ looks to have a lot of laughs and be very entertaining for the whole family, the ‘Joker’ movie looks to be a whole lot darker and grittier, hopefully in both tone and overall look, which might be a bit of a shock for audiences after ‘Aquaman’ and ‘Shazam!’
Thanks to a recent Instagram post by Todd Phillips himself, we even have a black and white photo of Phoenix in the movie which really brings home the entirely different tone of the film, with Phoenix sitting with his arm outstretched, his expression hard to read, looking to be mulling over some dark deed, with some people (like the source article over at Collider) commenting that it evokes a kind of Western feel, similar to ‘The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.’
Check it out for yourself below:
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So far all we know about the story in ‘Joker’ is that it takes place in 1981 and is the origin story of the Joker starting with him as a man named Arthur Fleck who has been struggling to make it as a stand-up comedian. We know the film was designed to be a one-off, with a tone described as very close to ‘Taxi Driver,’ but other than that, no real information. There’s always the chance that if it proves to be a success it could spin off into its own little mini-DC franchise, but for now, it will stand on its own with the only thing making it a “superhero/comic-book’ movie the fact that its main character came from DC Comics.
What are your thoughts on the tone and look of the film, especially in light of that new photo? Feel free to share your opinions below!