Warner Bros. has finally revealed the synopsis and cast for the standalone Joker film starring Joaquin Phoenix.
In a statement officially announcing the start of principal photography on Todd Phillips’ Joker origin film, the movie’s cast and crew have been confirmed.
The announcement comes after months of speculation involving the final cast including the confirmed inclusion of Deadpool 2 star Zazie Beetz who plays Sophie Dumond and Frances Conroy who plays Penny Fleck, the future villain’s ailing mother. The film is set during the 1980’s.
Joining the previously announced stars Joaquin Phoenix and Robert De Niro in the announced cast are Bill Camp, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge , Marc Maron, Josh Pais, and Shea Whigham. Brett Cullen was announced today to be playing the role of Thomas Wayne, the role Alec Baldwin had been up for before he dropped out. Wayne is a billionaire businessman and the father of Bruce Wayne, who becomes the Joker’s archenemy Batman. Unlike the version of Thomas appearing in the comics, Joker‘s version of the character has a role in the Joker’s origins. He is also less friendly than traditional depictions, with The Hollywood Reporter writing the film “paints [him] as a cheesy and tanned businessman who is more in the mold of a 1980s Donald Trump.”
The crew for the upcoming DC Comics film has also been announced with Scott Silver (The Fighter) co-writing the screenplay with Phillips who also produces along with longtime collaborator Bradley Cooper. The lineup behind the camera is equally impressive with Lawrence Sher (Godzilla: King of Monsters) serving as director of photography, Mark Friedberg (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) serving as production designer, and Academy Award-winning costume designer Mark Bridges (Phantom Thread) among the film’s crew.
Phoenix is the failed comedian Arthur Fleck, who is driven insane and becomes a psychopathic criminal mastermind. Phoenix had been interested in a low-budget “character study” of a comic book character and was suggested by his manager to set up a meeting with Warner Bros., but Phoenix declined. Phoenix later became interested when the project was announced, stating, “It feels unique, it is its own world in some ways, and maybe, mostly, it scares the fucking shit out of me or something. It might as well be the thing that scares you the most”.
The film is scheduled to be released on October 4, 2019 by Warner Bros. Pictures.