While most comic book movies borrow directly from the source material, they aren’t necessarily direct adaptations.
Todd Phillips‘ Joker, which stars Joaquin Phoenix as the title character, may fit into that category as it will not be inspired by the comics and will present an original character-driven story. Check out the full report below.
Speaking to Empire, Phillips spoke about Joker and how the story will stray away from the character’s origin story, which was already vague to begin with:
“We didn’t follow anything from the comic-books, which people are gonna be mad about. 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.”
Some people reacting angrily to the changes isn’t unexpected. It just comes with the territory. What it does is just gives a new perspective on the character. Additionally, it adds to the ambiguity of the Joker’s origins. The films and the comics all have their own takes on how the Clown Prince of Crime came to be.
One popular origins story follows an average everyman falling into a vat of acid that bleached his skin white, dyed his hair green, and turned his lips ruby-red. Christopher Nolan gave a more grounded origin to the character in The Dark Knight. Rather than have the character be a victim of a freak accident, his Joker had scars that looked like he was constantly smiling. How he got those scars is unclear, but it was a question that he would often ask his victims and his story would be radically different from the last.
Phillips is following a somewhat similar path in terms of origins. Judging by the official plot synopsis, the film will be more about Batman’s most infamous arch-nemesis, and no one else. According to it, the film will be an “exploration of Arthur Fleck, a man disregarded by society,” and “is not only a gritty character study but also a broader cautionary tale.”
We already knew that Joker would take place outside of the DC Extended Universe. Inspired by films like Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and The King of Comedy the film will be more of a gritty hard-boiled crime drama than a traditional comic book movie.
Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Robert De Niro, and Marc Maron also star.
Joker opens in theaters on October 4, 2019. Click right here for a trailer and more.