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Warner Bros. gives Joaquin Phoenix's Joker movie a 2019 release date

The thought of Joaquin Phoenix taking on the role of the Joker in a gritty origin film never struck me as something which would actually happen, but here we are, with Phoenix recently finalizing his deal and Warner Bros. giving the film a green-light. It was speculated at the time that the film could land in theaters as early as late 2019, and that appears to right on the mark as Warner Bros. has announced that the film will open on October 4, 2019. That's the same date as Ang Lee's GEMINI MAN starring Will Smith and Joe Wright's THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW starring Amy Adams.

Production on the Joker film, which will be directed and co-written by Todd Phillips (THE HANGOVER), is expected to begin this September in New York. Quite the quick turnaround, but I'd imagine that the film won't be a visual-effects extravaganza which needs a lengthy post-production schedule. The film has been described by the studio as an "exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale." The budget will fall somewhere in the $55 million range, which will allow the film to be "darker and more experimental in tone and content." In addition to the Joaquin Phoenix Joker project, Warner Bros. is also developing a standalone Joker film for Jared Leto as well.

After months of playing it coy, Joaquin Phoenix was finally able to comment on playing the Joker and recently revealed that the project "scares the f**king shit" out of him. "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]," Phoenix said. "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."

Source: Warner Bros.

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