Yes, Hangover director Todd Phillips’ upcoming Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix is really happening, and yes, Zazie Beetz, Robert De Niro and Marc Maron are all involved in the project. Even so, the sheer reality that yet another actor is going to portray the overly iconic Batman villain on the big screen is just too much for some people. (Including Suicide Squad‘s Jared Leto.) Yet that doesn’t mean all the social media-driven vitriol and mock is getting to Phoenix.
“It is ideal to be able to focus on one thing and not do press while you’re prepping for something else, which is not working out,” he said. Nevertheless, the typically tight-lipped actor shrugged off the pressure of tackling such an iconic character. “I could care less,” he said. “I don’t really think that much about what people think. Who cares, who cares? My approach to every movie is the same. What I’m interested in is the filmmaker and the idea of the character.”
Previously, Phoenix told Collider that the prospect of playing a character previously portrayed by Heath Ledger, whose work in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight won him a posthumous Oscar, “[scared] the f*cking sh*t out of me.” Yet the actor also said the pared-down approach taken by himself and Phillips is too exciting to pass up. “Underneath the excitement of these films, and the size of them, there are these incredible characters that are dealing with real life struggles. And sometimes that is uncovered and exposed, and sometimes it isn’t,” he said. “[They] deserve the opportunity to be kind of studied.”