Joker is a 2019 American psychological thriller film directed and produced by Todd Phillips, who co-wrote the script with Scott Silver. The film, based on characters from DC Comics, stars Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker and provides a possible origin story for the character. Set in 1981, it follows Arthur Fleck, a failed clown and comedian whose descent into insanity and nihilism inspires a violent countercultural revolution against the wealthy in a run-down Gotham City. Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Bill Camp, Shea Whigham, and Marc Maron appear in supporting roles. Joker was produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, DC Films, and Joint Effort, in association with Bron Creative and Village Roadshow Pictures, and distributed by Warner Bros.
Phillips conceived Joker in 2016 and wrote the script with Silver throughout 2017. The two were inspired by character studies from the 1970s and Martin Scorsese films (notably Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy), who was initially linked to the project as a producer.
The film loosely adapts plot elements from Batman: The Killing Joke (1988), but Phillips and Silver, otherwise, did not look to specific comics for inspiration. Phoenix joined in February 2018 and was cast in July, while most of the cast signed in August.
Principal photography took place in New York City, Jersey City, and Newark from September to December 2018. Joker is the first live-action Batman film to receive an R rating from the Motion Picture Association.
Joker premiered at the 76th Venice International Film Festival on August 31, 2019, where it won the Golden Lion, and opened in the United States on October 4, 2019.
The film experienced polarized critical reception. While Phoenix’s acting, directing, editing, musical score, and cinematography were praised, the dark tone, depiction of mental illness, and handling of violence divided opinions and raised concerns about the inspiration for the violence. in real life;
The theater where the 2012 Aurora, Colorado mass shooting occurred during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises declined to show it. Despite this, Joker became a huge box office success and set records for an October release. It grossed more than $ 1 billion, the first R-rated film to do so, and became the sixth-highest-grossing film of 2019 during its theatrical run.
Joker received numerous accolades. At the 92nd Academy Awards, the film garnered 11 top nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay, winning Best Actor for Phoenix (who became the second actor to win an Oscar for playing the Joker, after Heath Ledger in 2009) and Best Original Score for Hildur Guðnadóttir. Phoenix and Guðnadóttir also won at the Golden Globe and BAFTA awards ceremonies.