Before agreeing to star in one of the most profitable comic book movies ever made, Joaquin Phoenix famously passed on Marvel’s Doctor Strange and poo-pooed the idea of working in such huge genre franchises. Now, between the Todd Phillips-directed film’s growing list of accolades and all the critical praise that’s been heaped on Phoenix for his performance, it seems the actor has become far less picky — at least when it comes to massive tentpoles based on popular characters from comic books. Hell, he’s even (jokingly) willing to adapt the Road Runner from Looney Tunes.
In a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, Phoenix opened up about his past aversion to starring in comic book-based properties and where he stands now. “I’m open to anything,” he says. “I will consider a live-action version of Road Runner.” Obviously, the actor is joking — unless he’s not, which would be weird and awesome and potentially give Sonic the Hedgehog a run for its gold coins. Even so, it seems that, in retrospect, Phoenix has come to a far more mature understanding of his craft and the business it’s based in.
“I remember, like eight years ago, I was told, ‘Movies are changing. They’re not making the movies that you want to make, so you’ve got to do one of these,'” he recalls of his mindset prior to accepting Phillips’s Joker pitch. “It makes sense. It probably is a good strategy. But for me, I guess the fear was that you’d get locked into doing something repeatedly that you don’t really care about, that doesn’t motivate you or excite you.”
As for his willingness to “get locked into” doing more Joker films, Phoenix is open to the idea. He and Phillips have spoken about the prospect in previous interviews, and when the Los Angeles Times asked them both about it again, they remained optimistic. “In the second or third week of shooting, I was like, ‘Todd, can you start working on a sequel? There’s way too much to explore,'” the actor recalls. “It was kind of in jest — but not really.” As for the director, he notes it “would have to have some thematic resonance in a similar way that this does.”
(Via Los Angeles Times)