Joaquin Phoenix's 'Joker' seems to draw inspiration from cult classic 'V for Vendetta'

Since the release of 'V for Vendetta' in 2005, the Guy Fawkes mask has become a popular symbol of resistance, most famously used by the Occupy Wall Street movement and the hacktivist group Anonymous. Once 'Joker' comes out, we wouldn't be too surprised if those masks are replaced with clown makeup


                            Joaquin Phoenix's 'Joker' seems to draw inspiration from cult classic 'V for Vendetta'

The upcoming 'Joker' movie is one of the most anticipated comic book adaptations coming out in 2019 and with good reason. 'Hangover' director Todd Phillips' dark psychological film promises to provide a fresh new perspective on the Clown Prince of Crime.  And with each new detail that's come to light about the movie, we're only getting more convinced that Joaquin Phoenix's Joker is going to be like nothing we've seen before.

The film tells the story of Arthur Fleck (played by Phoenix) as a failed stand-up comedian, who becomes a psychopathic criminal after he grows extremely disillusioned with the world. The movie's final trailer was released on August 28 giving us some additional insight into Arthur’s madness. 

Seeing as Phoenix is the seventh actor to portray the Joker, it's inevitable that he would be compared to the actors who came before like Heath Ledger ('The Dark Knight'), Jared Leto ('Suicide Squad'), and Mark Hamill, who voiced the character in 'Batman: The Animated Series' and multiple video games. But judging from what we have seen so far, this new Joker may have more in common with the mysterious anti-hero of Alan Moore's cult classic 'V for Vendetta' than any previous iteration of the Clown Prince of Crime. 

The trailer gives us multiple hints that the Joker will become something bigger than just Arthur in the film. It seems Arthur's actions in the movie, whatever they are, will set off a movement of sorts.

Much like how in 'V for Vendetta' the people took to the streets wearing the protagonist's iconic Guy Fawkes mask, there are multiple people shown wearing clown masks throughout the trailer, including a group of protesters holding up signs saying, “We are all clowns.”

Hugo Weaving in V for Vendetta (2005). (IMDb)

 

Since the release of 'V for Vendetta' in 2005, the Guy Fawkes mask has become a popular symbol of resistance, most famously used by the Occupy Wall Street movement and the hacktivist group Anonymous. Once 'Joker' comes out, we wouldn't be too surprised if those masks are replaced with clown makeup. 

In the real world, the Joker has been a symbol of rebellion against authority ever since Christopher Nolan's 'The Dark Knight' turned the classic character into a symbol for pure, unbridled chaos. Arthur Fleck is much tamer by comparison but that doesn't mean he is any less of a symbol. 

Arthur is not a crime boss, unlike the 'Suicide Squad' Joker, and while Heath Ledger's version was absolutely insane, Phoenix's version of the character may just be the sanest Joker we've ever seen. It's not Arthur who is insane, it's the world around him that has gone barking mad.

Arthur is merely another normal man trying to find happiness in a world that is far too cruel and corrupt to allow anyone a chance at a good life. Sure, it's a cautionary tale but its warning may just be a few years too late.  

The world we live in is every bit as insane and cruel as the one inhabited by this strange new Joker and Phoenix's version of the character serves as a dark mirror for our society itself.  This is no longer the Clown Prince of Crime we have grown accustomed to. This is the Joker we deserve. 

'Joker' is scheduled to be released by Warner Bros. Pictures on October 4, 2019.

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