Leonardo DiCaprio was never approached for ‘Joker’, Joaquin Phoenix was always the original choice: Director Todd Phillips

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Joker director Todd Phillips has dismissed the initial reports claiming that Leonardo DiCaprio was considered for the lead role prior to roping in Joaquin Phoenix. The film is a spinoff that delves into the background of Batman’s most popular and most loved arch-nemesis Joker. Joker received a standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival and received rave reviews at the Toronto Film Festival. Phoenix is already being touted as a frontrunner for the Oscar’s Best Actor awards for his performance as the Clown Prince of Crime.

However, when the film was first announced, it was being reported that DiCaprio was Warner Bros. first choice and Martin Scorsese would reportedly produce. However, Phillips told an international daily that Joker was written with keeping Pheonix in mind. He said, “We wrote the movie for Joaquin.”

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Phillips’ Joker is an original, standalone fictional story not based on any comic book. The film explores the background and early life of Arthur Fleck who eventually turns into the villain Joker who terrorizes the city of Gotham. The film explores Fleck’s job as a clown-for-hire by day and his ambition of making it as a stand-up comic at night but finds that the joke is always upon him. Faced by a cruel and apathy-filled Gotham society, his one bad decision brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this deep character study.

Joker’s script is written by Phillips and Scott Silver. The film also stars Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais, and Shea Whigham. It is slated to release on October 4.

(Source: New York Times)

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