Joker is a 2019 USA crime thriller by Todd Phillips. Starring Robert De Niro, Joaquin Phoenix and Marc Maron.
Joker centers around an origin of the iconic arch
nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. Todd Phillips' exploration of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.
While speaking at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, Joker director Todd Phillips explained that there were a few scenes that he had to cut, the most notable of which was a scene had Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck doing something bizarre
while inside a bathtub.
Phillips suggested that the scene that was removed is not sexually explicit in nature, but is simply too bizarre for a standard R-rated movie to handle. He spoke in vague terms at the film festival:
So the other thing that's great about Joaquin is that he's always up to try things -- the fridge was one of those. It wasn't in the script it was something that Joaquin just kind of did and there was a few others, there's only one
other that's in the movie and it's when he's laughing after he goes to [Zazie Beetz's] apartment and he comes back down the hall and he's laughing alone in that living room, that was another one...
There were two or three others
we shot, one that is amazing in a bathtub, but I don't think we can actually include it in an R-rated movie and it's not because it was pornographic, it was just insane.
Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there? Joaquin Phoenix's proto-Joker Arthur Fleck asks his psychologist in the new Joker movie. The real answer is both. Fleck is a man losing his grip on
sanity, but the world out there is a powder keg of lawlessness, inequality, corruption, cuts and all-round despair. Joker's story is set around the early 1980s, but it consciously chimes with our own increasingly crazy present. These are tough times, the
psychologist acknowledges. She might as well turn and wink to the camera.
It's no surprise that 2019's Joker -- while set to be a triumph, critically and commercially -- has raised concerns over its narrative. An early, leaked
version of the script, plus the portrayal of Phoenix's character as a sad young man losing his grip on sanity (mental health problems, past trauma, failing comedy career, loneliness) has led to the film being aligned with so-called incel culture
(involuntarily celibate men who are angry and misogynistic).
Three families of those killed while watching a Batman film in 2012 have written to Warner Bros complaining about the new Joker film and urging the studio to join action against gun violence.
Twelve people died in a cinema showing The Dark Knight
Rises in Colorado. They included Jessica Ghawi, 24, whose mother Sandy Phillips told BBC News she was horrified by the Joker trailers. Speaking to BBC News, Phillips said:
When I first saw the trailers of the movie, I
was absolutely horrified. And then when I dug a little deeper and found out that it had such unnecessary violence in the movie, it just chilled me to my bones. It just makes me angry that a major motion picture company isn't taking responsibility and
doesn't have the concern of the public at all.
A letter from the 3 families asked the studio to lobby for gun reform, help fund survivor funds and gun violence intervention schemes, and end political contributions to candidates who
take money from the National Rifle Association.
Warner Bros responded that the latest film Joker was not an endorsement of real-world violence and said that the studio has a long history of donating to victims of violence, including the 2012
cinema shooting in Aurora, Colorado. It added:
Make no mistake: neither the fictional character Joker, nor the film, is an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind. It is not the intention of the film, the
filmmakers or the studio to hold this character up as a hero.