By: Paolino De Francesco

Batman’s villain finally got his movie, Joker. The film premiered on October 4th, “ ‘Joker’ is now officially the third-highest grossing R-rated release of all time, just ahead of The Matrix: Reloaded ($738.5 million) behind only Deadpool ($783.6 million) and Deadpool 2 ($785 million),” Forbes states. Although Joker has become the most hated, loved, and obsessed-over movie of 2019, there’s controversy about Joker’s main actor, Joaquin Phoenix, and Suicide Squad’s Joker, Jared Leto. This controversy started when Leto, who is contractually obliged to reprise the character in another DC Universe spin-off sequel, learned that he has a rival to play his role. This made Leto furious; however, he has the right to feel that way.

Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Let’s start with Joker’s primary author and Oscar nominee, Joaquin Phoenix. Most of Joker’s success goes to Warner Bros’ shining star of 2019, with probably their biggest performer of the year. Given these points, we can agree that Joker “is a massive hit that has won over both critics and the box office. The film is already in the top 10 global box office list of films based on DC Comics characters.” It seems like everyone is enjoying Joker except for Jared Leto. 

Initially, Leonardo DiCaprio was the man that Warner Bros. wanted for their movie; however, when Leto learns about this, he expresses “his unhappiness with the idea of multiple Jokers abundantly clear to his agents at the Hollywood powerhouse Creative Artists Agency and weaponizes that concern to take meetings with rival agents at William Morris Endeavor.” Moreover, according to a New York Times interview with Todd Phillips, Joker’s director, Phillips stated that “In the middle of the scene, he [Phoenix] ’ll just walk away and walk out… And the poor other actor thinks it’s them and it was never them — it was always him, and he just wasn’t feeling it.” Long story short, this entire situation was a mess, and it had nothing to do with Leto. I believe that the studio did not know what to do and was just throwing things at the wall to see what stuck. However, apart from being an actor, he’s human too, and this situation must have been frustrating for him.

Photo Credits: Pixelbay

I enjoyed this movie very much, for it was a thrill to watch. I certainly believe that Phoenix’s performance is worthy of an Oscar. Although this movie portrays a “different” Joker, it is still a great film. This film focuses “on Arthur Fleck’s backstory portraying a villainous character as a victim worthy of compassion, a victim of a society gone mad.  In the comics, the Joker’s behavior has been historically linked to criminal insanity and, across the decades, the character has offered scant justification for his evildoing. After giving these points, are you still questioning if you should watch this movie? I challenge you to experience it for yourself.





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