Todd Phillips Confirms Joaquin Phoenix's Twisted Joker Will Be An R-Rated Flick
Joaquin Phoenix, noted for his expert portrayal of deeply broken figures, has proven that he has what it takes to play the iconic Joker, following the late Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson and Jared Leto.
After months of leaked set photos, reports of extras having to relieve themselves on set, and Twitter teases, we finally have our first trailer of Phoenix’s portrayal:
Our first glimpse of the film, which was pinned as an “exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale,” follows Arthur Fleck (Phoenix) as the world grinds him ever further down towards complete mental collapse.
We also get brief glimpses of Shea Whigham’s stern-faced police officer, Zazie Beetz as Sophie, Arthur’s love interest, and a great deal of clown make-up.
Other than that, the movie feels like a pretty cut and dry origin story, albeit one with some good-looking set pieces and some truly chilling acting courtesy of Phoenix.
Such is the fear instilled by Phoenix's portrayal, fans were speculating that the movie wouldn't simply get an MA15+ classification, but something much stronger. Todd Phillips has confirmed the rumours, taking to social media to alert audiences that the film will indeed be R-rated.
In a behind-the-scenes photo posted online, IndieWire points out that the information is released in the comment section after a fan asked about the film's MPAA rating. "It will be Rated R," replied Phillips. "I've been asked this a lot. Just assumed people knew."
As for the movie's story, it's worth noting that one of its stars, Zazie Beetz, told MTV News earlier this year that the movie's script was constantly being rewritten on set day-of:
“The script was great. We rewrote the whole thing while we were shooting it,” Beetz said. “Literally, we would go into Todd’s trailer and write the scene for the night and then do it. During hair and makeup we’d memorize those lines and then do them and then we’d reshoot that three weeks later.”
"I used to think my life was a tragedy," Phoenix's Joker says in the trailer. "But now I realise: It's a comedy."
The Joker was the very first villain in the very first Batman comic, printed back in 1940, and to this date has always been the biggest thorn in the side of the Caped Crusader.
However, despite the fact that The Joker has a ton of different backstories throughout the 70 years of comics that have been written including him, the character has never received a definitive origin story in film other than the one briefly painted in The Dark Knight.
JOKER hits theatres on October 4.