It’s finally happened. Since Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight, fans and filmmakers alike have struggled to picture anyone else as the Clown Prince of Crime. Until now.
Todd Philips’ latest venture, Joker, premiered this weekend at the Venice Film Festival and the critics love it. Such acclaim may come as a surprise, as the infamous character has proven, in recent years, to be a challenge to translate from comic to screen.
Jared Leto dared to take on the role for 2016’s Suicide Squad, but his portrayal was met with heavy criticism. It’s refreshing, and something of a relief, to see critics welcoming Joaquin Pheonix’s rendition of the villain in Joker as “fully realised and Oscar-worthy”, according to IGN. Many reviews are even comparing Joker with iconic crime films of the past such as Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, which can only mean good things.
After its premiere weekend, Joker is currently sat on a very positive Rotten Tomatoes score of 85%. It will be interesting to see how this score is affected when the film hits all screens on its October 4 release date. Incoming reviews for the film are creating significant buzz on social media. If ticket sales are maximised by this, hopefully Warner Bros. will note the untapped potential for more mature interpretations of their DC Comics properties.
Check out the trailer below for what The Mirror describes as “arguably the best Batman-adjacent movie since The Dark Knight.”