Joker has always been an integral part of the DC universe. Throughout the comics, the supervillain was notorious for his criminal ways. In fact, Joker has been responsible for numerous murders, notably the murder of characters like Jason Todd (the second Robin) and Jim Gordon’s second wife, Sarah Essen.

Despite that, readers have always been fascinated with him. So much so that the character was brought to life in various television series and movies. Over the years, a number of actors have taken the role of portraying this iconic character on theater screens.

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Regram from @toddphillips1: Teaser trailer tomorrow. #JokerMovie – in theaters October 4.

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Notably actors like Heath Ledger, Jacks Nicholson, Cesar Romero, and Jared Leto. However, it was only Ledger’s depiction of the character that garnered the franchise an Oscar in 2009.

The latest actor to fill the shoes is none other than Joaquin Phoenix. In line with the release of the movie trailer, here are 8 fun facts about the upcoming psychological film:

1. An Origin Movie 

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Arthur.

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Before he became the Joker, he was Arthur Fleck.

Slated for release on 4th October, the upcoming feature film will provide the details to his background before he became the Joker, we all came to know and love. Warner Bros has described the project as “a cautionary tale” and “a gritty character study” that follows a man who has been disregarded by society.

From the trailer, it certainly looks like it.

The clip first begins with Phoenix depicting the character as a struggling comedian. Despite obvious signs of severe mental health issues, he still puts on a good face. However, due to the constant bullying and harassment he faces, Arthur switched and eventually turned to a life of crime and chaos.

2. Set in 1981 

The story is set to take place in 1981.

In fact, it was revealed that the script drew inspirations from classic films like “Taxi Driver” (1976), “Raging Bull” (1981), and “The King of Comedy” (1983).

Now, this explains the vintage look of New York in the teaser. It’s clear that Phillips had the intention of incorporating the same aesthetic feels from the aforementioned films for his vision of Gotham City.

3. Director Todd Phillips was instrumental in getting Phoenix onboard

Before landing on the directorial role for this project, Phillips was known for his work with the “Hangover” trilogy.

Speaking to Collider last year, Phoenix revealed that Phillips’ role as a director had a huge influence in his decision to play the iconic character. He noted;

“I think he’s very impressive and he seems to have a very interesting understanding of this world and what he’s trying to say. And so there is something very appealing about that and working with him on this particular project.”

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Here we go.

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“It feels unique, it is its own world in some ways, and maybe, mostly, it scares the fucking shit out of me or something. It might as well be the thing that scares you the most.”

Considering Phillips past works with comedy films, it would be refreshing to see his take on Joker’s origin story since he’s used to making audiences laugh.

4. Joaquin Phoenix had to lose weight 

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Camera test (w/ sound). Joker.

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In order to obtain Joker’s classic look, Phoenix had to shed a couple of pounds. During the shooting of this film in New York last year, Phoenix was seen notably thinner than usual. We are talking about a huge difference! Fans were shaken when they saw how Phoenix was starting to look like the iconic villain.

However, Phoenix was up for the challenge. In fact, he stated that he “could care less” about the pressures that come with the role.

5. Robert De Niro is Murray Franklin 

Speaking of taking inspirations from “King of Comedy” and “Taxi Driver”, Robert De Niro is set to play Murray Franklin in this upcoming project. His character in the “Joker” is a talk show host who is instrumental in Arthur’s downfall. Not much has been revealed about this character though.

Nevertheless, De Niro has mentioned that this role will very much pay homage to his character, Rupert Pupkin in “King of Comedy”.

6. Thomas Wayne for Gotham City Mayor 

Source: The Wrap

Considering it’s set in 1981, Bruce Wayne’s parents have yet to meet their ultimate fate. This means fans can look forward to seeing Bret Cullet portray Thomas Wayne in “Joker”.

Following the original script for 1989 “Batman”, Thomas and Martha Wayne were murdered due to Thomas’s candidacy for Mayor. His opposition candidate, Rupert Thorne hired Joe Chill to assassinate them.

Seeing how his involvement in politics resulted in his death, fans can expect the same faith to play out on screen. However, the only mystery here is the killer’s identity.

Well, we will just have to wait and see…

In addition, Bret Cullet’s version of the billionaire will not be as friendly and warm as he is in the comics. Initially, actor Alec Baldwin was cast as Thomas Wayne but due to schedule conflicts, Baldwin dropped out of the role.

7. Young Batman makes his debut 

Even though this project centralises around Joker’s origin, this motion picture will explain young Bruce Wayne’s motivation to take on the role of Gotham City’s favourite superhero.

Bearing in mind that Thomas Wayne is still around, Bruce would in turn still be a child. It was officially announced that Dante Pereira will be bringing the character to live on screen this October.

8. This version “doesn’t follow anything” from the comics

 

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Regram from @toddphillips1: Our first cover story. Issue out July 11th. @empiremagazine The first pic is the newsstand cover. The second is the special subscriber cover (I think that’s how it works…)

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We didn’t follow anything from the comic books, which people are gonna be mad about,” the writer-director told Empire. “We just wrote our own version of where a guy like Joker might come from. That’s what was interesting to me. We’re not even doing Joker, but the story of becoming Joker. It’s about this man.”

The Oscar-nominated actor was always the first choice for Phillips. “I think he’s the greatest actor. We had a photo of him above our computer while we were writing. We constantly thought, ‘God, imagine if Joaquin actually does this.’”

In the meantime, let’s relish the final trailer until it hits the theaters.

“Joker” debuts in cinemas this October.

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John Tan
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