'Joker' Movie Is A 'Character Study Of A Mentally Ill Person'

I think by now we all assumed the Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix wouldn't be a traditional comic book film. But in case there was any lingering doubt, co-star Marc Maron (above right) has provided some insight into what to expect. According to Maron, who plays a character named Ted Marco, the Todd Phillips-directed film is less a comic book film, and the Joker movie story more of a character study of a mentally ill person...who eventually turns into the Joker.

If you're expecting Joaquin Phoenix to shoot acid out of a flower or pull out a giant BANG-flag gun in his Joker movie, you might want to temper those expectations. Speaking with NMEJoker co-star Marc Maron played up the fact that the film will be gritty, and more of a character study:

"The approach that Todd Phillips has taken is more of an origin story and a character study of a mentally ill person that becomes The Joker. It's more of an intimate and gritty movie with a very specific scope. It's going to be really interesting to see how it comes out."

When Maron was first cast in the film, rumor had it that he might be playing the manager of Phoenix's failed stand-up comedian character, Arthur Fleck. But according to Maron himself, he didn't have much interaction with Phoenix – at least not while the cameras weren't rolling:

"I didn't really get to talk to him because he was pretty immersed in The Joker. I was just like, 'I'm not gonna bother that guy.' That was fine. You just gotta respect people's process."

I, too, would feel nervous about approaching Joaquin Phoenix while he was going full-Joker. Phoenix and Maron star alongside Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Josh Pais, and Shea Whigham, and that is one impressive cast. This entire project remains a curiosity to me – I originally shrugged it off as unnecessary, but now I'm interested in seeing it. Phoenix is one of the best actors working today, and I have no doubt he'll bring everything he's got to the lead role.

Joker "centers around the iconic arch-nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. The exploration of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale."Joker gets the last laugh when the film opens October 4, 2019.