Here at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, Warner Bros. presented their panel for their upcoming year to the theater owner association and press assembled.
Two of the big ticket draws were first looks at Joker and It: Chapter Two. Both movies are about clowns.
Let’s talk about “Joker”
When director Todd Phillips took the stage, he said the studio asked him to describe the genre of Joker. After thinking, he responded, “a tragedy.”
The footage we saw wasn’t really a scene, more of a super cut of scenes. It begins with Joaquin Phoenix’s non-makeup Joker in therapy, saying his mother told him he needed to smile more often.
We then see Phoenix working as a street performer when some street toughs steal one of his props. Phoenix gives chase, but the street toughs do a once over on Phoenix. We then see a shot of Phoenix sitting, shirtless, on his apartment floor mumbling something about how it’s getting “tougher out there.”
This is a heavily stylized film, which features random shots of Phoenix just laughing manically at inappropriate times, with a voiceover that says, “I thought my life was a tragedy, but I realized it’s a comedy.” (Todd Phillips and Joker seem to have a disagreement on this.)
The next scene is Joker on the subway in full makeup. A few bros decide it’s a good idea to taunt Joker with barbs like, “What’s so funny, clown?” And, as expected, it does not turn out well for the bros. (This scene reminded me a bit of Seinfeld when Crazy Joe Davola asked Kramer if he liked clowns. I know that sounds weird, but it’s a creepy scene, at least for Seinfeld.)
The scenes were a bit too scattershot to put too much together, plot wise. But it does look super weird. And every now and then, we’d see a late night television host in front of those older style Johnny Carson type curtains. Which makes me want to guess that Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy might be an influence. Anyway, yes, it looked good!
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