Heath Ledger might have given one of the best live-action performances as the Dark Knight’s Joker, however, Joker movie director Todd Phillips wasn’t in the least bit worried for Joaquin Phoenix to take the role.
Speaking in an interview with Variety to discuss his highly anticipated comic book movie, Phillips was asked whether he was nervous about having Academy Award-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix following Ledger’s performance as the Joker. Though the director loved Ledger’s version of the Joker, he really didn’t mind the idea of having different versions of the character to admire.
"No," Phillips told the entertainment news outlet when asked whether he had ever been worried about Phoenix following Ledger, "I mean, I love it but Jared Leto followed it and I loved that too. Jack Nicholson proceeded it and I loved that. In the states, comic books are our Shakespeare it seems. You can do many version of Hamlet and there will be many more versions of Jokers I'm sure in the future."
Then again, Phillips has very little to worry about, because it seems like Phoenix may be giving Ledger a run for his money. Unlike Dark Knight which was more of a comic book movie, Joker is considered more of a gritty character study of Gotham’s Clown Prince of Crime.
Right now, Joker is coming along very nicely, enjoying positive reviews from critics. Not only that, but the film also managed to nab the top prize at this year’s Venice International Film Festival. If that isn’t a good indicator of the film’s success, then we don’t know what is.
The Joker premieres on October 4, 2019.