Joker Director Todd Phillips Says He ‘Didn’t Follow Anything’ From The Comics

Joker – Empire exclusive image

That's what was interesting to me.

His comments seem to dash fan speculation that the movie might follow portions of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's legendary The Killing Joke, the comic that provided the origin story for the Clown Prince of Crime. We're not even doing Joker, but the story of becoming Joker. In a recent interview with Empire, the writer-director of the upcoming feature on Gotham's cryptic supervillain predicts that his choice of not following the comic books' material will make people "mad". The movie is an origin story of sorts, but beyond that, the plot details are under wraps.

The man who becomes Joker in Todd Phillips' movie is Arthur Fleck, a stand-up comedian who is damaged and vulnerable. Regardless, Phillips made it clear that his team has full faith in Phoenix's ability to make the role his own.

"It feels unique, it is its own world in some ways, and maybe, mostly, it scares the f- s- out of me, or something", Phoenix said, adding that an actor's next project "might as well be the thing that scares you the most".

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Warner Bros.is releasing "Joker" at the start of October, a time often reserved for the studio's big fall awards title (see "A Star Is Born" previous year and "Gravity" in 2013). "I met with him and said, 'I'd be lying to you if I said we weren't influenced by a lot of your movies.' I talked with him about _Taxi Driver_ and about _The King Of Comedy_, which is one of my favourite movies of all time".

In addition to Phoenix, Joker also stars Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Josh Pais, Marc Maron, and Shea Whigham.

Joker hits theaters on October 4. "And I thought, 'Oh god, what's he gonna be like?' And he comes in like it's nothing, just ready to rock, knew his shit".

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