Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker movie has a homage to his departed friend and former Joker actor, Heath Ledger. (Mild spoilers for Joker follow.)
When Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) makes his big debut on Live! With Murray Franklin near the end of the film, Joker sees an older woman in the audience who seems to be enthusiastic with his presence, so he walks up to her and kisses her before sitting down. This is actually a homage to the late Heath Ledger.
Back when doing press for The Dark Knight in 2008 before his untimely death, Heath Ledger was interrupted during an interview by a fan who was incredibly excited to see him. After hearing her squeal out a joyful noise, he walked over to her and gave her a kiss… After which point she fainted.
While the older woman in Joker does not faint after being kissed by Joaquin Phoenix’s tragic villain, the influence is clearly there. Joaquin Phoenix and Heath Ledger were said to be very good friends in real life, so it’s possible that the scene was ad-libbed into the script (which underwent some on-set changes).
Here is the official synopsis for Todd Phillips’ 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.
‘Joker’: Check Out Every Image From The Joaquin Phoenix Movie
Warner 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!
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.