Joaquin Phoenix Didn’t Channel Heath Ledger’s Joker For His Performance

While Heath Ledger gave an iconic performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight in one of his final film roles before his death, Joaquin Phoenix did not feel compelled to imitate his performance for the Joker standalone film.

Entertainment Weekly reports that Joaquin Phoenix spoke at the Venice International Film Festival to discuss Joker shortly after the film was screened. When asked about his inspiration for his performance, he noted that one thing he wanted to do was not imitate any previous performance involving the character – including the version portrayed by Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight.

“The attraction to make this film and this character was that we were going to approach it in our own way, so, for me, I didn’t refer to any past iterations of the character. It just felt like something that was our creation in some ways.”

Heath Ledger died of cardiac arrest caused by accidental drug intoxication shortly before the release The Dark Knight, with his death being widely mourned by his co-stars and Hollywood as a whole. Heath Ledger’s performance in that film is considered one of the best performances put into a a comic book movie, and netted him a posthumous Oscar win – the only time that that’s ever happened with an actor in a superhero movie. The movie was not Heath Ledger’s final performance, as his incomplete work for The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was utilized, with Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell being used as subsequent transformations of the character initially played by Heath Ledger.

Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix were good friends in real life, so it seems kind of fitting that the two would end up playing the same iconic character in two completely separate imaginings of the Batman villain. While Joaquin Phoenix’s version of the villain shares some traits with Heath Ledger’s take, both are completely separate interpretations of the character and are unique in their own right. So far, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker film has been met with praise with its premiere, with most acclaim going toward his performance as the future Batman archnemesis, with some going so far as to suggest that it rivals Heath Ledger’s own performance.

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.

Joker will be released in theaters on October 4, 2019.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Check Out Every Image From Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘Joker’ Movie Here

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Joker Joaquin PhoenixWarner Bros.' upcoming standalone Joker film starring Joaquin Phoenix is just over six weeks away from hitting theaters so we've rounded up all of the film's official images showing off the next Clown Prince of Crime.

Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix is set to be an origin story. The gritty and grounded crime film directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover) is set in 1980s Gotham City follows Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a failed 1980s comedian that becomes The Joker after he bombs with audiences. The film will serve as DC's first outing beyond its the current cinematic universe since it was launched by Zack Snyder in 2013 with Man of Steel in order to create new and unique storylines as the studio expands DC canon.

So far, Warner Bros. has released official images from the film featuring Joaquin Phoenix along with Robert De Niro who plays talk show host Murray Franklin, as well as Zazie Beetz' Sophie Dumond, who appears to be a love interest of Joaquin Phoenix's Joker in the film. You can check out all of the officially released stills from Joker in the gallery below!

Joaquin Phoenix Joker Todd Phillips

Directed by Todd Phillips from a script he co-wrote with Scott Silver, the film stars Joaquin Phoenix, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais, and Shea Whigham.

“Joker” centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck (Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.

Joker will be released in theaters on October 4, 2019. Stay tuned to Heroic Hollywood for the latest news on Joaquin Phoenix, Joker, and the future of the DC slate as we learn it.

Joker Joaquin Phoenix Batman

Joker Joaquin Phoenix Batman Riddler

Joker Joaquin Phoenix Todd Phillips

Joker Robert De Niro Joaquin Phoenix

Robert De Niro Marc Maron Joaquin Phoenix Joker

Joker Arthur Fleck Joaquin Phoenix

Joker Joaquin Phoenix Zazie Beetz

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