The Joker is unquestionably Batman's greatest enemy, and after antagonizing the Caped Crusader in several live action movies, the Clown Prince of Crime is snagging the cinematic spotlight for himself. It's been nearly a year since it was announced that The Joker would lead a standalone movie that's unconnected to the DC Extended Universe, and after months of rumors, it was finally confirmed last week that Joaquin Phoenix will play this incarnation of the cackling villain. Now word's come in that we won't have to wait too long to see this origin story air on the silver screen, as Phoenix's Joker movie has been dated for October 4, 2019.
With this scheduling announcement on the eve of San Diego Comic-Con, this means that three DC Comics movies will arrive in 2019. Shazam! and Wonder Woman 1984 were already slated for May 5 and November 1, respectively, and now fans can look forward to this Joker movie coming a month before Diana of Themyscira's sequel. It was also announced (via THR) that this Joker movie will simply be called Joker; short and to the point. Joker's competition that opening weekend will include Gemini Man from Paramount Pictures, Zombieland 2 from Columbia Pictures and The Woman in the Window from Fox Searchlight.
Budgeted at around $55 million, which is significantly less than what most DC Comics movies cost to make, Joker is being directed by The Hangover's Todd Phillips, who co-wrote the script with Scott Silver. Officially, all we know about the movie is that it's described by Warner Bros as an "exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale." Already that description and budget indicate that Joker will be a different, more experimental kind of movie compared to previous DC Comics movies. Unofficially, it's been reported that Joker will be set in the 1980s adapt The Killing Joke, the Alan Moore-penned and Brian Bolland-illustrated story that portrayed the character as a failed comedian who turns to a life of crime after one bad day.
With Joker moving full speed ahead, that means we'll have two live action Jokers on the big screen simultaneously. Jared Leto debuted as the DCEU's Clown Prince of Crime in 2016's Suicide Squad, and along with reportedly reprising the role for Suicide Squad 2, Leto is also reportedly getting ready to lead his own Joker movie. So far Joaquin Phoenix is the only actor attached to Joker, but supposedly Frances McDormand was being eyed to play Joker's mother, though she passed on the role. There's still no word on if other established Batman characters, including the Caped Crusader himself, will appear in the movie.
Joker will begin production later this year, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for continuing coverage on its progression. As for the movies arriving a little sooner, browse through our 2018 release schedule.