Joaquin Phoenix Says Joker Role Scares Him, Has Wanted To Make the Film For Years

Joker The Killing Joke

We’ve known for months that Joaquin Phoenix was going to play the Joker in the upcoming Joker Origins movie, although he only just signed the deal this week.

Speaking to Steve Weintraub of Collider, Phoenix revealed that although he thinks the film will be interesting and unique, it also ‘scares the fucking shit’ out of him. Read his full statement below:

“I take a lot of time and consideration when making decisions and what I’m gonna work on always. So, in some ways, the process, which is obviously reading a script and meeting a filmmaker and then continuing to have meetings and discussions with Todd [Phillips]. I think he’s very impressive and he seems to have a very interesting understanding of this world and what he’s trying to say. And so there is something very appealing about that and working with him on this particular project. It feels unique, it is its own world in some ways, and maybe, mostly, it scares the fucking shit out of me or something. It might as well be the thing that scares you the most.”

Phoenix certainly has good reason to be scared, because he’s be following on from Heath Ledger’s Oscar winning performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight. At least we know that the Joker Origins movie will be completely different from Christopher Nolan’s 2008 classic, because Phoenix went on to clarify that his Joker project would not be a superhero film, and that he would not classify it as belonging to any genre, whatever that means.

The most intriguing part of the interview was when Phoenix revealed that he had actually wanted to star in a smaller budget film about an established comic villain for several years, so it appears that landing the Joker role really is a dream come true for him.

The $55 million Joker Origins movie will be directed by The Hangover’s Todd Phillips, and will be produced by Martin Scorsese. No other cast members aside from Phoenix have been confirmed, although filming is set to commence in New York in September. We’re also getting an unrelated film about the DC Extended Universe version of the Joker, in which Jared Leto will reprise his role from Suicide Squad.