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Todd Phillips Points Out Biggest Difference Between Joaquin Phoenix and Heath Ledger's Joker
It seems that Joaquin Phoenix's performance as the psychotic murderer of Gotham City has been the most impressive since Heath Ledger.
Image: Todd Phillips/Instagram
After quite a while, The Joker is the talk of town once again. We have Joaquin Phoenix to thank for this with his performance in Todd Phillips' Joker. It seems that Phoenix's performance as the psychotic murderer of Gotham City has been the most impressive since Heath Ledger.
With so much talk about the new Joker going around, director Todd Phillips has weighed in as to what makes his Joker very different from Christopher Nolan's. Referring to Ledger's dialogue of "I just want to watch the world burn", Phillips said, "I don’t think it was this Joker’s goal to watch the world burn. This Joker had an entirely different goal in mind. In the beginning of the movie he’s sitting here doing this (forcing himself to smile and frown) in the very first scene, and it’s a guy searching for identity. I think he becomes, mistakenly, a symbol, and really what he was looking for was adulation. He was never looking for the world to burn, this Joker. As for the past ones, that’s a different thing. But our guy, that wasn’t his goal."
One of the biggest changes of Phoenix's Joker from the previous one was the point of origin. The Joker is known for going insane after falling into a vat of acid during a robbery. Even though Ledger's Joker did not confirm this origin, he suggested that an accident had led to his unusual appearance. Phoenix, on the other hand, plays a Joker who descends into madness after being ridiculed and abused in a very negative society.
Phoenix also revealed that he did not refer to any of the previous versions of The Joker as they were aiming to create an entirely new Joker which even a psychiatrist would not be able to decode or understand. This is similar to Ledger's efforts who had also claimed that he was trying to create a new Joker free from his comic book roots or the previous versions appearing on the big screen.
Joker recently premiered at the Venice Film Festival where it received a large amount of praise. The film is set to hit theaters on October 4.
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