It was previously reported that Joker, written and directed by Todd Phillips, would anger fans as it’s not based on any established comic books. “We didn’t follow anything from the comic books… We just wrote our own version of where a guy like Joker might come from… We’re not even doing Joker, but the story of becoming Joker,” said Todd Phillips in an interview with Empire.
However, as it turns out, Todd Phillips may have been misquoted. In an interview with ComicBook.com, Phillips cleared the air, saying that the film isn’t based on ONE particular comic book storyline, but many different ones.
“It’s funny because a lot of you guys have probably reprinted something I said in Empire where I was misquoted,” Phillips said. “I’m not gonna complain, I like the writer; he wrote a great piece where I said we didn’t take anything from the comic book world. It’s actually not what I said. What I said was we didn’t take anything from one particular comic. We kind of picked and chose what we liked from the kind of 80-year canon of Joker. We kind of pulled a few things that we liked.”
In the same interview, Phillips explained that the main reason he decided to set the film in the late 70s and 80s is to keep it as far away from the DCEU (the universe in which Batman V Superman, Aquaman, etc is set in) as possible.
“For us, we never say in the movie it’s 1981, but we always say, ‘It’s late seventies early eighties,’ mainly because we don’t want people to be like ‘Wow that car wasn’t out in 1979’, so late seventies early eighties. But the time for me, the reason we set it there, well there’s a lot of reasons. One reason was to separate it quite frankly, from the DC universe. When I pitched to Warner Brothers, and handed the script in, to sort of make it clear, this isn’t f—ing with anything you have going on. This is like a separate universe. So much so, it takes place in the past, before everything else.”
Official synopsis of Joker:
Director Todd Phillips Joker centres around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone fictional story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night…but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty character study.
Joker is set to hit Malaysian cinemas on 3 October 2019.