Joaquin Phoenix's Joker spinoff greenlit by Warner Bros but on significantly lower budget

After months of speculations, it has been confirmed that Phoenix has indeed closed the deal to portray the Batman nemesis in a film co-scripted by Todd Phillips and Scott Silver. 

Joaquin Phoenix's Joker spinoff greenlit by Warner Bros but on significantly lower budget

One of the most iconic comic book villains created ever, DC's Joker will be getting the royal treatment through 2018-2019. Nothing less than six movies centered on the psychotic clown prince has already been planned. Including the Jared Leto-led solo movie, a possible sequel to 2016's 'Suicide Squad', and another about Joker and Harley Quinn. In fact, the numerous plans to use Joker are beyond the scope of the so-called DC Extended Universe. A separate slate is believed to be under development under which individual filmmakers will be working with Warner Bros. 

And the first of this new lot of superhero movies — reportedly a part of the series called DC Dark or DC Black — happens to be Joaquin Phoenix-starring Joker origin story, a project which was recently greenlit by the studios. After months of speculations, it has been confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter that Phoenix has indeed closed the deal to portray the Batman nemesis in a film co-scripted by Todd Phillips and Scott Silver. 

Asides shouldering the writer's duties, Philips will also be taking on the director's chair for the origin movie that Warner Bros described as an “exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study but also a broader cautionary tale.” As of now, not much is known about Phoenix's co-stars, however, it has emerged that the film will officially begin production this fall around September.   



Interestingly enough, Warner Bros is yet to announce a release date for this Joker movie, an unlikely move from the studio that has created a pattern of slating their upcoming movies even a year early, in an order to add to the hype. It looks like the superhero movie franchise which is perpetually trying to match up to the mega-budget Marvel moviedom is doing a lot of things different this time around. 

Not just the release date but the studio has brought in a serious wave of change in the budgeting style as well. Instead of pouring in millions of dollars into one single project, the franchise has supposedly marked a significantly lower budget for the Phoenix-led movie in the range of $55 million, as reported by THR. 

While this is just the production and business side of the movie, on the creative front too a series of changes are being ushered in, beginning with the much darker tone and experimental content almost in the lines of a crime drama. 

The last time DC/Warner Bros had created a buzz of this kind was when they got Christopher Nolan on board to work on the critically-acclaimed 'Batman' trilogy. While it might be too early to pit the Phoenix-Phillips production in the same category, it's safe to say that it would be a nailbiting wait until Joker's arrival on the big screen in 2019.