New details on Warner Bros’ standalone Joker film, Joaquin Phoenix signs on.

Joaquin Phoenix has signed on the dotted line for Warner Bros’ Joker origin film, which will be a darker, standalone tale with a lower budget (reportedly at around $55 million) and an experimental angle with ties to the crime drama genre.

Todd Phillips has co-written the script and will take on directing duties. The film is described as an “exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study but also a broader cautionary tale,” and will begin shooting in New York this September. With no release date scheduled, it could see release some time in 2019. A Warner Bros statement describes it as an “original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen.”

There’s been an endless flood of project announcements from Warner Bros. based on DC Comics properties and, particularly in light of some notable failures, they’ve been cause for concern. Despite that, this one seems to have potential and some genuine forward momentum.

The project however, only adds fuel to the frequent backlash against the incessant mining of superhero lore. With no intention of abandoning Jared Leto’s version, whose Joker will be showing up in Suicide Squad 2 as well as an as-yet unannounced project, Phoenix becomes the fourth actor to take on the character on the big screen and will be the third to do so in just over a decade. With two versions of the same character appearing on-screen at the same time, Warner Bros. will need to focus its attention on distinguishing this film from those in the DC Universe-proper.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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