This last look at Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker before it hits the Venice Film Festival this weekend shows more of Arthur Fleck’s life and the clown chaos invading Gotham.
Though it’s been made clear that the story isn’t based on a particular comic story line, it’s definitely using some ideas from Alan Moore and Frank Miller.
It continues to look more like a character study set in a comic book universe than the formulaic comic book movies DC has been putting out in recent years. The production design puts it smack in the middle of 1970s, a time when cinema was telling a lot of dark, gritty tales set in big cities.
The initial rumors on the story is that it takes major cues from Scorsese’s King of Comedy and Taxi Driver (both of which were Di Nero vehicles) – Scorsese was involved with Joker during pre-production, so it makes sense. I’d say that rumor is accurate seeing this trailer. Hopefully it has more to offer at its heart than a mash of concepts and previous movies.
There’s Oscar buzz around this. Director Todd Phillips and Warner Brothers have submitted the movie to compete for the Grand Jury Prize in Venice (which is being held this weekend), and it will also debut at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival in two weeks. It’s going to be interesting to see where all of that shakes out. We’ll have the first round of reviews next week.