For those who haven't heard, yes, Hollywood is making a standalone film centered on the iconic and terrifying villain Joker. But it's not going to be just a run-of-the-mill superhero film.
Rather, everyone involved wants to make something more akin to a character study than a bombastic, spectacle-filled cinematic overkill.
Joker Standalone Film
Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix is playing the titular character, a perfect casting choice given his diverse film career. Be it a murderous scion in ancient Rome or an odd milquetoast falling slowly in love with his operating system, each role Phoenix plays is injected with nuance and complexity, making him more than sufficient enough of a performer to play the troubled, complicated DC Comics villain.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, the film now has an official title: Joker. It's set to hit theaters on Oct. 4, 2019, which seems a bit early considering news of the film surfaced just weeks ago.
The official title and release date were revealed just as this year's Comic-Con got underway in San Diego, California. Warner Bros. and DC are expected to shop up on the conference this coming Saturday, July 21.
Why Does The Film's Release Date Seem Early?
Phoenix finalized his deal to star in Joker just last month, which makes the official release date seem even earlier than usual. Superhero films typically take almost a year to make, with the bulk of production time being spent on visual effects. But again, the film isn't going to be anything like other Marvel and DC films: the studio has described it as an "exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale."
Joker could do away with all the big-budget special effects — it only has a reported budget of somewhere around $55 million — and focus on the complexities of Joker instead. Perhaps that's why the film will arrive sooner than usual, as there'll be few, if any, radical special effects to be added.
It's hard to say whether or not Joker will at least feature minor CGI effects, but if it will, the studio probably won't want it to impede on the storytelling and characterization. Again, this looks to be a film that is more interested in examining internal struggles rather than physical ones — and for that it certainly sounds promising and refreshing. If done well, it could pave a whole new territory other superhero franchises can explore.
The Hangover director Todd Phillips is directing Joker, with a screenplay by him and Scott Silver.