Joaquin Phoenix has plenty to laugh about.
The Oscar-nominated actor, 44, stars as Arthur Fleck in the upcoming Joker, a man destined to become the movie’s titled villain and Batman’s greatest foe.
The film, directed by Todd Phillips, is set to dominate the box office with over $80 million in its opening weekend, according to Variety.
While the film is focused on a comic book character, the story itself is more of a character study of a man who descends into madness than a superhero tentpole movie.
The film was met with praise from critics at TIFF. And while Phoenix was applauded for his “impressive” performance, the film received some backlash for its depictions of violence.
After Monday’s premiere, Collider’s Perri Nemiroff wrote, “#Joker is one of the most unnerving movies I’ve seen in years. Joaquin Phoenix is astounding – the physicality of his work is especially impressive. It’s very well made across the board but I also found it very upsetting & right now I can’t shake that. Need to sit with this more.”
“I saw #Joker — and it is unlike anything before it,” Brandon Davis of ComicBook.com tweeted. “The movie is dark, thrilling, and chilling. An insane masterpiece. The movie absolutely transcends being a comic book film and acts as a character study which, at times, will make audiences uncomfortable in wild ways.”
While speaking at the film’s Toronto International Film Festival premiere on Monday night, Phoenix said playing the Joker was “one of the greatest experiences of my career.”
“I mean honestly, it wasn’t an easy decision at first,” the actor said of taking the part, according to Variety. “I didn’t f—— know. I didn’t. But then there was something that was drawing me toward it. It just evolved as we worked together. It started becoming something more than I anticipated. It was one of the greatest experiences of my career.”
Warner Bros has described the film as being an “exploration of a man disregarded by society is not only a gritty character study but also a broader cautionary tale,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Joker hits theaters on Oct. 4.
(This story has not been edited by N24 staff and is People.com auto-generated from a RSS feed.)
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