There’s been a lot of news and murmur for the upcoming DC film, The Joker. Joaquin Phoenix playing the part is a big deal. Podcast host, Justin Shanlian of the Shanlian on Batman podcast has shared news that fans have a lot to be excited about.
He tweets that multiple sources have updated him that Phoenix ‘crushed’ his role as Batman’s most unstable and horrifying villain.
The more I hear about this project the more EXCITED I get for it! You’re ALL in for a treat when this film is released in October! Heard that the script is incredible and they’ve nailed the character of #TheJoker pic.twitter.com/RysqRrFzY2
— Justin Shanlian (@BATMANShanlian) January 4, 2019
Now, this is scary but beautiful. I’ve had mixed feelings on the character, but not because of how he’s been written. My issue is how people empathize and cheer for this deranged villain. My two cents on the Joker is that he is a phenomenal character, a great imbalance to the balance Bruce Wayne craves in his life. In the Arkham Knight games, he was a fantastic metaphor for that negative and awful voice we get inside our heads sometimes. The Clown Prince obsesses over how mundane and boring the Dark Knight’s life would be without him, he deludes himself into thinking the Joker is needed.
I am so baffled each time Batman is said to be the Joker’s equal. My favorite renditions of the Joker are when Batman actually sort of murders him (The Killing Joke, where his death is implied, and The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller). We see no character progress in Joker, except his versions in the LEGO games and movies where he learns of teamwork. Arkham’s insane villain is incapable of growth or learning from his mistakes.
Getting an origin story sounds terrifying and fun. It’ll be expected to be the only film where we get to see Arthur Fleck and feel actual empathy for the sadistic psychopath. If Joaquin Phoenix nails his performance, I hope to goodness people don’t idolize him for culture, relationships, or look at him as a role model.
DC films have pulled away from the Mad Love Harley Quinn, and I’m so glad. Bringing in another television show, Netflix’s Bojack Horseman seems to point out a perfect ode to this phenomenon where fans idolize broken and psychotic characters (Hannibal and Dexter, don’t we love you?) When unhealthy people follow the footsteps of fictional characters like the Joker, the stalker from You, Clockwork Orange, and Catcher in the Rye, it becomes exceptionally dangerous, especially for women, and maybe John Lennon.
Which is why the Joker should be viewed differently. Yes, enjoy his psychotics, his torture, and villainy, but it’s important to separate that he is bad and that there are some people who want to watch the world burn, but they shouldn’t be looking for inspiration to do it.
What do you think, what makes fans adore the Joker so much? Leave us a comment!
Written and directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover), The Joker will hit theaters Oct. 4, 2019.