Todd Phillips’ ‘Joker’ tackles the character in a direction completely different than any other Batman based film. While the film doesn’t focus on the Joker’s schemes and crimes and even less of Batman thwarting them, it gives watchers and Batman fans a bigger backstory to the both hated and loved villain of the franchise. Rather than focusing on the war between Batman and his arch-nemesis, the upcoming film makes the title character’s descent into madness the focal point for once. A psychological thriller film in its own right, ‘Joker’ will also bring more terror into the comic-based franchise than has been seen before.
As an origin story, and one that centralizes the “villain” as the protagonist, it is understandable that Batman would very insignificant in terms of influence on the film. ‘Joker’ will reveal much more about not only his past but also the elements that went into making the character who he is. By deflating such a tremendous character and hero and making him irrelevant, the film makes the eponymous anti-hero much more relatable but also more human than any other adaption he has been featured in. Batman’s influence, or the lack thereof, allowed for the film to break ground within the genre and essentially be a self-sufficient, standalone film. “This movie just stands on its own,” Phillips said. “I don’t see that Arthur Fleck fighting anybody.”
With that being said, Phillips admitted that Batman’s influence was perhaps more present in earlier cuts:
“There was probably a little more in earlier cuts, maybe. There definitely was a little more everything in the earlier cuts, but it was really about how fun it is that we get to keep one foot in the comic book world and one foot in not and like you said find that balance. It’s hard to quantify how we found that balance, but it was, the movie is very liberating because DC, just speaking about comic books, DC as a company and Warner Bros. as a studio really just let us do whatever we wanted with it. It wasn’t like ‘oh and you have to mention the Batmobile and you have to…’ none of that. It was literally like ‘yeah, were going to take this leap on this movie. Just go for it and do it.'”
DC and Warner Bros.’ blessing to ” just go for it and do it” allowed the film to be this powerful origin story completely different from other origin stories where the character became who he was due to something like falling into a vat of chemicals which Phillips calls a “comic book thing”. Joker may be a comic book movie, it’s also a film that stands alone even within the DC universe.
‘Joker’ opens in theaters on October 4th.
Source: Comic Book