A couple of years ago, it was reported that Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) was being eyed to play The Joker and now Todd Phillips has responded to that and why he cast Joaquin Phoenix.
As you may recall, Leonardo DiCaprio was once rumoured to take on the role of the Clown Prince of Crime but the filmmaker has now confirmed that he was never being eyed for Joker as, “We wrote the movie for Joaquin.” However, it wasn’t exactly an easy task to convince Phoenix to sign on. “He was not keen on jumping into costume in any comic-book movie,” Phillips admitted.
The New York Times notes that it took three months of Phillips repeatedly visiting Phoenix at home to win him over and they often disagreed about how the character should be portrayed.
Phoenix viewed The Joker as a heavy-set character and Phillips envisioned him as being extremely skinny; ultimately, it was the latter who won and, based on what we’ve seen, it was a smart move.
What do you guys think of these comments from the Joker director?
Hit the “View List” button to check out the reactions to
the movie from the Toronto International Film Festival!
#Joker: Wow. Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips summon dark mojo for a descent into madness, for the origin story to beat all origin stories. Forget comic books — this is disturbingly too close to modern alienation to be dismissed as mere fantasy. #TIFF19 pic.twitter.com/LfmcDfAwE7
— Peter Howell (@peterhowellfilm) September 10, 2019
This is interesting. Being asked a lot if #JoaquinPhoenix is “better” than Heath Ledger as the #Joker. Joaquin gets an entire movie. It’s not a fair comparison at all, and it’s wrong to even try to compare them. #TIFF19 pic.twitter.com/lmY4gIfwbh
— Sean O’Connell (@Sean_OConnell) September 10, 2019
JOKER: The perfect origin story for a lunatic with no origin. Todd Phillips gives DC it’s first true masterpiece. The Clown Prince has never been more deranged, more dangerous, and more real. A brutal work that will have audiences raving. #Joker #JokerMovie #TIFF19 pic.twitter.com/laz2oiy5iw
— CinemaBlend (@CinemaBlend) September 10, 2019
#JokerMovie is a perfect (and best yet) take on the classic Batman villain. It’s a brutal, unsettling and chaotic masterpiece
— Chris Sylvia @ #TIFF19 (@sylvioso) September 10, 2019
Joaquin Phoenix gives a twisted & darkly stunning performance. Rife with social commentary on mental health, violence, social classes & more. It builds upon the discomfort of the audience to really bring home the message behind it. #JokerMovie #Joker #TIFF19 pic.twitter.com/RIlDCcGnHZ
— Ashley Menzel at #TIFF (@AshleyGMenzel) September 10, 2019
JOKER is phenomenal. Joaquin Phoenix’s performance is next level. No other performance this year will be able to top this one. There is so much to digest with this film too including its exploration of humanity & mental illness. A Flawless Masterpiece. #JokerMovie #Joker pic.twitter.com/uNIQ11aShV
— Scott Menzel @ Toronto International Film Festival (@TheOtherScottM) September 10, 2019
Saw #Joker. It is DARK. Think Network as a comic book movie. Freakily relevant to right now. Nicely twisty though familiar too. Joaquin makes the thing – we’re gonna have MANY convos about this flick. #TIFF19 pic.twitter.com/pcgx1J1UyD
— Brian Truitt (@briantruitt) September 10, 2019
#Joker is one of the most unnerving movies I’ve seen in years. Joaquin Phoenix is astounding – the physicality of his work is especially impressive. It’s very well made across the board but I also found it very upsetting & right now I can’t shake that. Need to sit with this more.
— Perri Nemiroff (@PNemiroff) September 10, 2019
#Joker is an extremely ultra violent tale but it’s also a concerning commentary on mental illness, class, feeling ostracized from society. It’s really chilling to watch. #TIFF19 pic.twitter.com/pX6z0DdlI9
— Jason Guerrasio (@JasonGuerrasio) September 10, 2019
JOKER is- and I cannot stress this enough- a literal masterpiece. A movie that perfectly captures an era and devolves into complete, affecting madness. Joaquin has never been better. Phoenix rising… to the top of the Oscar race?? Who knew Todd Phillips had this in him? Wow.
— Jay Ledbetter (@MrJayLedbetter) September 10, 2019