'Joker' Director Todd Phillips Braces For Backlash, Says Movie Won't Have 'Anything' From The Comics
Sorry Batman fans, but the director of the upcoming 'Joker' movie says not to expect anything from the source material that inspired the iconic villain.
In a recent interview with 'Empire', Todd Phillips said his dark, gritty take on the Joker won't be using any inspiration from the decades of source material across comics, TV shows and movies that made the Joker so infamous.
And he's expecting a bit of backlash for it.
"We didn't follow anything from the comic books, which people are gonna be mad about," Phillips told the publication, "We just wrote our own version of where a guy like Joker might come from. That’s what was interesting to me. We’re not even doing Joker, but the story of becoming Joker. It’s about this man."
That man is played by Joaquin Phoenix, named Arthur Fleck, he's a vulnerable man who is pushed to his limits until he ultimately breaks, turning on the city of Gotham.
While the Joker has had many origin stories in the past, Phillips' Fleck seemed to mirror a story told in 'The Killing Joke', published in 1988, written by Alan Moore.
In 'Killing Joke', the man who will eventually become the clowned prince of crime is an unnamed worker at a chemical company who decides to quit his job to become a stand-up comedian -- a job which he's spectacularly crap at.
After a botched robbery, the engineer is washed into the chemical plant's run-off, which bleaches his skin, turns his hair bright green and stains his lips red. This, coupled with the unlucky death of his wife drives the man to insanity and thus, the Joker is born.
Phillips' take is similarly a man worn down by a series of unfortunate events, however where the Joker is often seen as having some kind of chemical altercation that transforms him into the villain, here it appears he'll simply be a product of society.
The film's official synopsis describes Fleck as "a man disregarded by society" and the film will act as "a gritty character study" as well as "a broader cautionary tale".
The film will also star Frances Conroy, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Josh Pais and Marc Maron.
The film is scheduled to open in October.
Featured image: Warner Bros. Pictures.