Here’s an understatement: Todd Phillips’ Joker movie has been getting a bit of press lately. If you’ve been paying attention to the Internet and have not been living under a rock in Old Gotham, both the paparazzi and the director, Todd Phillips himself, have both been a little hype for the filming of Joker.
The paparazzi have managed to snag lots of snapshots of Joaquin Phoenix on set, with a few videos of our new live-action Joker/Proto-Joker doing his thing. Phillips himself has been trying to combat the snapshots and bad angles with his own professional photos.
While it may be frustrating for the filmmaker, it’s all great for us Batfans.
When the movie was first announced, it felt more like fake news more than anything. I questioned in my head, “Why? Why would WB even consider such a thing?” As the months rolled by, I still couldn’t wrap my head around a movie that just doesn’t make sense. We don’t need yet another live-action Joker and we really don’t need an origin story when the appeal of the Joker is that we’ll never quite understand where he came from. At the very least, The Killing Joke was already a pretty solid origin story by itself.
Then, principal photography started and we started to see the paparazzi footage. The Joker frenzy ignited on the Internet and you couldn’t look up Batman without seeing some headline from the set of the flick. While I was always confused, I was cautiously optimistic about it… but I can’t help that the stuff we’ve seen so far may be actually be good.
“Crazy excited for it”
I’m not the only one, however. One of the most recent writers to enter into the pantheon of beloved Batman scribes, Scott Snyder, took to Twitter on Friday and surprisingly endorsed the film.
I feel like it SHOULDN’T work and yet…I’m genuinely crazy excited for it. It seems daring, weird and dark in a way that could be visionary.
In the end, the worst offense w/Joker would be playing it safe, boring, so I’m all in for something like this.
— Scott Snyder (@Ssnyder1835) September 21, 2018
This is actually a pretty accurate representation of what I feel at this moment. On paper, this flick looks like a disaster, but on digital film, it actually looks fun.
Unless comic book creators are specifically hired to be a part of a crew for a movie, they’re generally not involved and remain almost as ignorant as the fans. While on the payroll, they’re not allowed to speak ill of the movies, so they keep silent on public forums. When the film is released, if they so happen to enjoy the movie, that’s when they can say something. Based on this Tweet, Snyder wasn’t very hopeful about this movie and was likely not going to say anything. And just like me, the paparazzi shots came in and swayed him in a different direction.
While Snyder clearly doesn’t know anything about the flick, at the very least, he has a point. You have to be willing to take a leap with the Joker. The best Joker stories usually do.
The cynical side of me says that he was paid to endorse the movie to help with PR, but it doesn’t seem that way to me at all, especially since he doesn’t claim to know anything about it.
What do you think? Is this a marketing ploy by WB/DC? Or is Scott Snyder actually being honest? Let me know.
Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix, Zazie Beetz, and Robert De Niro. See it on the big screen on October 4, 2019.