Joaquin Phoenix recently debunked speculation that Arthur Fleck is the predecessor to his universe’s version of the Joker and not the real deal.
Fans have speculated that Joker protagonist Arthur Fleck is not the actual Joker, but the man who will inspire the Joker, since the project was announced. After all, the character is best known for not having a clearly-defined past beyond falling into a vat of chemicals after a run-in with Batman, whereas the movie goes into painstaking detail about what it took to turn an outcast into Gotham’s most infamous criminal (and Bruce Wayne isn’t even on the path to become Batman at the time that the movie begins).
Well, Phoenix doesn’t really see things that way. His response to a question from The LA Times about whether or not Arthur Fleck is the Joker was pretty clear:
“I mean, to me, yes, he is [the Joker].”
Even so, Phoenix is not opposed to the idea that there could be more to this story than the movie’s cut-and-dry approach. He explained that, even though he didn’t believe that line of speculation, he still welcomes it:
“There was something that was great about the mystery of it. Todd and I talked a lot about how this is one of the few opportunities that you have where people don’t expect to know the definitive truth of the character — and not only that, they probably don’t want it. Usually the demands of the movie are the opposite. I said, ‘We have to take advantage of that. Why would we not?'”
With Joker having a shot at a billion dollars, and Phoenix — who has never done a sequel to one of his movies before — now open to the idea of doing another movie with this character, it seems like there’s a real chance that a sequel could actually happen. For now, Joker does not present any argument against the idea of Arthur Fleck being the “real” Joker, so it’s safe to say that Phoenix has got the last laugh.
Here is the official synopsis for Joker:
Director Todd Phillips’ Joker centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone fictional story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night…but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty character study.
Directed by Todd Phillips from a script he co-wrote with Scott Silver, Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais, and Shea Whigham. The movie is not part of the DC Extended Universe, and seems to play into Warner Bros.’s interests of making creator-driven superhero movies over necessarily building a hyper-connected shared universe… At least for the time being.
Joker is now playing in theaters. Stay tuned for the latest news on the Joaquin Phoenix movie!
Source: The LA Times