Joaquin Phoenix will be bringing DC Comics’ iconic villain, The Joker, to life in Todd Phillips’ Joker, but could he end up becoming the second actor to win an Oscar for playing this role after Heath Ledger?
When it was (finally) announced that Joaquin Phoenix would indeed be playing the Joker in the upcoming Joker movie, fans were equally excited and nervous to see how he’d fair in the role.
The Oscar winner’s depiction of the character deserves to be in the dustbin of Hollywood movie villains, never to see the light of day again. Perhaps that’s being a tad harsh.
It was well-documented that much of Leto’s work didn’t end up being in the final cut of the movie. However, there’s probably a very good reason for that.
Then there were all the reports of how Leto went full method actor for the role and ended up sending rather unpleasant things his co-stars such as bullets, condoms and anal beads.
Safe to say that all his antics didn’t result in a performance to remember, which actually tends to be the case when actors adopt the method technique. The stories of what went on on-set are often far more interesting than the films themselves.
That said, after the first trailer for Todd Philips’ Joker hit the Internet, there’s been a lot of goodwill towards Phoenix’s version of the character.
It’s been said that this Joker film is very much inspired by Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy, which probably explains why he’s on board as a producer and why Robert De Niro has a role in the film.
Phoenix’s Joker, a.k.a Arthur Fleck (A. Fleck… ringing any DC Comics movie bells anybody…?), seems to be a failed comedian with a rather unhealthy relationship with his mother who keeps on telling him to make the world smile.
It looks like he’s going to take his mother’s advice rather too literally and do something pretty dastardly in the process.
What the trailer really highlighted was Phoenix’s incredible metamorphosis into the role, which is something that Leto didn’t really achieve. The trailer shows a man slowly turning into the Joker, as opposed to just being the Joker, which will be a cinematic first.
There’s also his physicality, which is very important whilst playing a role like the DC Comics villain. Heath Ledger got this down to a T, and he also got the voice spot on.
What really stands out about Phoenix’s Joker is that it looks to be very different to the ones that came before him.
This isn’t Phoenix copying Ledger or Leto’s versions of the character. This is something entirely new, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Academy is blown away by his performance and nominate him for an Oscar.
This wouldn’t be the first time an actor was awarded an Oscar for playing the Joker. Heath Ledger was awarded the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the 2009 Oscars.
It was a rather sad moment though because it was awarded after the actor’s death and The Dark Knight director, Christopher Nolan, had to come on stage to accept it on behalf of Ledger.
Fans will have to wait and see until Joker is released in cinemas on October 4th later this year to see whether Phoenix’s performance as the DC villain is really worth an Oscar nomination.
Do you think Phoenix will get the Oscar for his performance in Joker? Let us know in the comments below.