Todd Phillips, Bradley Cooper/span>, Ryan Reynolds
Characters by DC Comics
Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy
Joker is an upcoming American psychological thriller film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, it is intended to launch DC Black, a series of DC-based films separate from the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). The film is directed by Todd Phillips from a screenplay co-written with Scott Silver, and stars Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker, alongside Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, and Frances Conroy. Set in 1981, Joker follows Arthur Fleck, a failed stand-up comedian who is driven insane and turns to a life of crime and chaos in Gotham City.
Development of a standalone Joker film began in 2016 and was confirmed in August 2017, after Warner Bros. and DC Films decided to deemphasize the shared nature of the DCEU. Phillips was set to direct, produce, and co-write the script—inspired by Martin Scorsese's films Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and The King of Comedy—with Silver. Scorsese was attached to produce early in production, but left due to other obligations. Phoenix became attached to the project in February 2018 and was cast that July, and the majority of the cast had signed on by August. Principal photography began in September 2018, taking place in New York City, Jersey City, and Newark, and concluded the following December.