Joaquin Phoenix has been tapped to play the Joker in a new standalone movie! Learn more about the Oscar-nominated actor here.
1. The standalone film is a Joker origin story: you may have thought that you know everything there is to know about the Joker, but think again! DC has what’s described as a “gritty crime drama” in the works about how the Joker became the biggest baddie in Gotham City. And they’ve cast three-time Oscar-nominee Joaquin Phoenix, 42, in the role! The movie about Batman’s nemesis is reportedly set in the 1980s. If you’re a Suicide Squad stan, don’t worry. Jared Leto will still play the Joker in Suicide Squad 2, and possibly beyond that.
This new iteration of the comic book classic is its own movie unrelated to the current DC films. Joaquin’s actually been considered for another DC villain role in the past. He passed on playing Lex Luther in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He was almost part of the Marvel universe, too, but ultimately passed on playing Doctor Strange.
2. Playing the Joker is a major family connection: Let us explain. Joaquin’s sister, Summer Phoenix, is married to Casey Affleck. Casey’s brother is, of course, Ben Affleck — aka Batman! Can you imagine what the holidays will be like this year??
3. His brother was 80s star River Phoenix: Joaquin is the younger brother of River Phoenix, an iconic 80s actor who tragically died of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 23. River was the star of films like the classic Stand by Me, and was lauded as a rising star in Hollywood. Joaquin was the person to find his brother outside the LA club The Viper Room, where he was hanging out with friends Johnny Depp and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
4. He went method for the mockumentary I’m Not Here: this was truly nuts. In late 2008, Joaquin announced that he was retiring from acting to be a rapper. His upcoming movie at the time, Two Lovers, was supposedly going to be his last. Joaquin infamously appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman to promote the film and gave an insane interview. He appeared drunk and out of it, and refused to answer most of the questions. David was visibly angry.
As it turns out, the whole thing was a publicity stunt to promote his mockumentary with brother-in-law Casey Affleck, I’m Still Here. He actually revealed this in another Late Show interview. What a wild ride.
5. Werner Herzog saved his life in 2006: you read that right. Legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog came to Joaquin’s rescue when his car went off the road in Hollywood and rolled due to brake failure. According to Joaquin, he heard a tapping on his window when the car stopped, and a mysterious voice telling him to “just relax.” It was Werner, who lived nearby, and broke the back window of the car and pulled him to safety while bystanders called 911.
HollywoodLifers, do you think Joaquin Phoenix will make a good Joker? Let us know!