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Joaquin Phoenix Kicks Back as Joker in a New Image from Todd Phillips’ Movie

Joaquin Phoenix Kicks Back as Joker in a New Image from Todd Phillips’ Movie

Dating back to Batman #1 in 1940, The Joker has become one of the most popular characters in all of pop culture. He’s so popular in fact, that Warner Bros and DC Entertainment have not one, not two, but THREE different movies featuring the homicidal Clown Prince of Crime in various stages of development. One of these is going before the cameras very soon, and already has a release date of fall, 2019. But what about the others? Here’s everything we know so far about the three different Joker-centric films that are coming our way in the next few years.

UPDATE, 11/5/18 – The first images of Joaquin Phoenix in clown makeup made a whirl on the ‘net, and director Todd Phillips has treated us to yet another glimpse of his star in Pagliacci mode. We don’t get quite as good a look at Joker this time around, but the vibe is as certain as ever. Check below Phillips’ Instagram post for the complete rundown on his Joker flick.

 

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What’s the First Joker Movie?

All we know about the film rumored to be simply titled Joker is that is not connected to the DCEU, and is actually a standalone film. In short, this version of the Clown Prince of Crime won’t be the same Joker that Jared Leto has played in Suicide Squad and may play again in the other two movies that are in the pipeline. This is similar to how DC Comics produces “Elseworlds” stories around its characters that are set outside of the main continuity, and sometimes take place in different time periods.

Who Is Starring in It and Who Is Directing It?

It was announced in July of 2018 that Joaquin Phoenix would play the park of the Joker, and that the movie will be directed by The Hangover director Todd Phillips. the movie will also star Robert De Niro, podcast host Marc Maron, Deadpool 2 and Atlanta star Zazie Beetz. And although Alec Baldwin was cast in the role of Thomas Wayne for one hot second, we already have his replacement: According to Comic Book, actor Brett Cullen has been cast as Thomas Wayne in the film. The former Lost actor has been in a Batman movie before; he played a congressman in The Dark Knight Rises.

WB and Joker director Todd Phillips  revealed the first official look at how Phoenix will look in a make-up test for the film in September. As you can see, his costume is very close to the classic comics. The suit almost looks like Cesar Romero in the Batman ’66 series. The make-up is definitely traditional clown grease paint, meaning Mr. J probably won’t have his skin bleached in a vat of chemicals in this movie, as happened to him in his comic book origin as well as the 1989 Batman film.

With the grease paint mixed together with the outfit, it’s a weird mix of Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight with the classic comic book version. The only deviation that makes this feel like another character  and not the exactly the Joker is the red nose, which screams more Ronald McDonald that the Clown Prince of Crime to us. But other than that detail, this is a pretty spot-on Joker.

What Is It About?

We know the movie will be a gritty crime thriller and psychological drama set in the 1980s, and it is rumored to be something of a loose adaptation of the classic ’80s graphic novel The Killing Joke. That comic told the story of how a down-on-his-luck comedian wound up losing his mind and becoming a psychotic killer once getting involved with, and getting betrayed by, a group of gangsters. Phillips confirms the character’s pre-Joker name in this film is now Arthur, a departure from the previously used “Jack” from the ’89 Batman film and Batman: The Animated Series. 

Will Batman Show Up?

Ever since the Joker prequel/origin film was announced, some have wondered if Batman would be in the movie in any capacity. Well, it turns out he is in the movie. Sort of. According to a confirmed report from Comic Book, the young Bruce Wayne has been cast, with child actor Dante Pereira-Olson (Happy) taking the role. He’ll show up in the film alongside the previously announced role of his father Thomas Wayne, played by Brett Cullen, and the also just announced Douglas Hodge as butler Alfred Pennyworth.

With a very young Bruce Wayne confirmed for the film, and his father Thomas Wayne in a prominent role, could we end up seeing a variation on the Tim Burton 1989 Batman film version of the Dark Knight’s origin story, in which it was the Joker who shot and killed the elder Waynes? While nothing is confirmed, we could definitely see it happening.

What’s the Second Joker Movie?

The second Joker movie would presumably star Jared Leto, once again reprising his Suicide Squad role. This would be a “love story” between the Leto’s Joker and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn character. Even though Suicide Squad shows flashbacks to how they met, this film would presumably delve more into their sick and toxic relationship. And for anyone who says the Joker/Harley relationship is not pretty sick and abusive, we have a stack of comics and several old episodes of Batman: The Animated Series to show you.

Who Is Starring in It and Who Is Directing It?

Aside from Leto as the Joker and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, there have been no other casting announcement for this movie. If it enters production, it will be after the next Harley Quinn movie Birds of Prey, which is scheduled to start shooting in 2019. The rumored directors for this project are Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who wrote and directed the 2011 romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love (which could almost be the subtitle of a Joker/Harley movie).

What Is It About?

The only thing we know about this movie is that it’s a story of the Joker/Harley relationship, and it is said to be like Bonnie and Clyde or Natural Born Killers. According to the original report by THR, the film is described as “an insane and twisted love story. When Harry Met Sally on benzedrine.”

Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment have been pushing the idea that Harley Quinn is a reformed criminal and even a superhero now, so maybe having a movie that involves her either killing innocent people, or being complicit when her puddin’ does, might not be the best way to make that case. Perhaps a Joker Vs. Harley-type movie would be the more prudent move here.

Will Batman Show Up?

It’s very up in the air if Ben Affleck will ever put on the Batman suit again, but it seems it would be hard to make a DCEU movie starring Harley and Mister J without having at least a cameo appearance by the Bat. But who would play the everyone’s favorite vigilante is remains a mystery.

What’s the THIRD Joker Movie??

That would be Suicide Squad 2, which which would presumably feature the return of the original cast, including Jared Leto as the Joker, and Margot Robbie as Harley.

Who Is Starring in It and Who Is Directing It?

If this one comes to pass, expect all of the original cast to return, as they are contracted for several movies in this series. It was announced in September of 2017 that Gavin O’Connor of The Accountant would direct the sequel.

What Is It About?

It is rumored that this time, Joker would be the main villain of the film, and Harley and her new friends would have to team up to take down her murderous ex-boyfriend. The Joker was originally meant to be the main antagonist in the first Suicide Squad movie, but the decision was ultimately made to change it.

Will Batman Show Up?

Again, it is a DCEU film, so his chances of appearing in a movie about Joker and Harley are at least 50/50.

What do you want to see in these three different incarnations of the Joker on film? Be sure to let us know in the comments.

Images: Warner Bros / DC Comics / Annapurna Films /Syfy

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