Joker 2019 (film)
Joker is a 2019 American psychological thriller film directed by Todd Phillips, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scott Silver. The film, based on DC Comics characters, stars Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker. Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, it is intended to launch DC Black, a series of DC-based films separate from the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Joker is set in 1981 and follows Arthur Fleck, a failed stand-up comedian who is driven insane and turns to a life of crime and chaos in Gotham City. Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Marc Maron, Bill Camp, Shea Whigham, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, and Brian Tyree Henry, among others, appear in supporting roles.
Development of a standalone Joker film began in 2016 and was confirmed in August 2017, after Warner Bros. and DC Films decided to deemphasize the shared nature of the DCEU. Phillips was set to direct, produce, and co-write the script—inspired by the works of Martin Scorsese and the graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke (1988)—with Silver. Scorsese was attached to produce early in production but left due to other obligations. Phoenix became attached to the project in February 2018 and was cast that July and the majority of the cast had signed on by August. Principal photography began in September 2018, taking place in New York City, Jersey City, and Newark and concluded the following December.
Joker premiered at the 76th Venice International Film Festival on August 31, 2019, and is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on October 4. The film received positive reviews from critics, with particular praise for Phoenix’s performance.