If you’re tracking the cinematic world of comics at all, you’ll know that Joaquin Phoenix’s upcoming movie ‘Joker,’ has Batman fans all spun up. The movie doesn’t follow any particular Dark Knight canon and is based entirely on the killer clown himself. There was a collective outcry from geekdom when it was understood that the film’s director, Todd Phillips, had said that he wasn’t even going to bother paying homage to any of the existing comics or movies.
However, in a recent interview, he revealed that he had been misquoted by one source:
“It’s funny because a lot of you guys have probably reprinted something I said in Empire where I was misquoted. I’m not gonna complain, I like the writer; he wrote a great piece where I said we didn’t take anything from the comic book world. It’s actually not what I said. What I said was we didn’t take anything from one particular comic. We kind of picked and chose what we liked from the kind of 80-year canon of Joker. We kind of pulled a few things that we liked.”
So while it is true that ‘Joker’ isn’t a sequel or spinoff from any existing comic or movie, Phillips clearly respects the canon and has tried to keep his Joker within those bounds, even if he isn’t following any particular storyline strictly. For example, we know he’s set his movie in an amorphous time of 1970s or 1980s. On that point, he stated:
“For us, we never say in the movie it’s 1981, but we always say, ‘It’s late seventies early eighties,’ mainly because we don’t want people to be like ‘Wow that car wasn’t out in 1979’, so late seventies early eighties. But the time for me, the reason we set it there, well there’s a lot of reasons. One reason was to separate it quite frankly, from the DC universe. When I pitched to Warner Brothers, and handed the script in, to sort of make it clear, this isn’t f—ing with anything you have going on. This is like a separate universe. So much so, it takes place in the past, before everything else.”
Joker is set to come out on October 4tth – don’t miss it!