‘Joker’ Actor Joaquin Phoenix to Star in New Gay Romance Film

in Entertainment, Movies

Arthur Fleck in Joker make-up for the first time in Joker 2019

Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

Joaquin Phoenix is ditching his clown makeup for something totally different.

Joaquin Phoenix as Joker
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

Related: Potential ‘Superman: Legacy’ Cast Revealed For James Gunn’s New DCU

DC Studios is undergoing a bit of a refurbishment under new management. After Warner Bros. Discovery’s (WBD) merger last year, there was a huge shakeup within the company that led to the ousting of prior head of DC Walter Hamada in favor of Marvel director James Gunn, who famously directed the Guardians of the Galaxy series of films within The Walt Disney Company’s Marvel Studios universe, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Justice League teaming up
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

It’s been confirmed that Gunn, as co-CEO of DC Studios, will reboot the DC Extended Universe (previously featuring characters such as Henry Cavill’s Superman/Clark Kent) from the “Zack Snyder Justice League (2017)” continuity into something wholly different. In fact, everything under the new DC Universe will live in the same continuity and “cinematic universe” under Gunn’s direction — like Marvel Studios, and for the next 10 years. This naturally raised a lot of questions from fans of DC, about Matt Reeves’ The Batman (2020) universe starring Robert Pattinson’s Batman/Bruce Wayne, and Todd Phillips’ Joker (2019) starring Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck/the Joker.

Now however, it seems like the Joker actor is ready for something rather different in tone.

Joaquin Phoenix as Joker
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

Related: Dwayne Johnson Hints That New DC Leadership is Why Henry Cavill Returned as Superman

Joaquin Phoenix’s iconic role in Joker

Following in the footsteps of previous Joker actors like Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, and even Jared Leto, it was Phoenix’s role in 2019’s Joker that catapulted him to becoming a properly established household name, garnering him tons of fans for his skillful portrayal of the most infamous member of the Dark Knight’s rogues gallery. The Joker movie, released in the “before times” (AKA 2019), is a standalone film directed by Todd Phillips and stars Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role, based on the popular DC Comic, “Batman: The Killing Joke” (1988). Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck, a failed stand-up comedian who becomes the infamous Joker in Bruce Wayne/Batman’s Gotham City (based on New York City). Robert De Niro portrays Murray Franklin, a talk show host, while Zazie Beetz plays Sophie Dumond, Arthur’s love interest. Frances Conroy portrays Penny Fleck, Arthur’s mother, and Brett Cullen appears as Thomas Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s father. The film explores Arthur’s descent into madness, highlighting themes of mental illness and societal alienation. Joaquin Phoenix delivers a powerful performance that earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor.

Lady Gaga and Joaquin Phoenix in Joker: Folie à Deux
Credit: DC Studios/Warner Bros. Discovery

With the Joker sequel nigh on the horizon — Joker: Folie à Deux (2024), alongside Lady Gaga’s Harley Quinn, it seems like Phoenix is ready for a change. Since the Joker is the role he’s most known for currently, it stands to reason that an actor like Phoenix would enjoy flexing his acting chops in trying something markedly different — likely also helping him to avoid being typecast.

Phoenix and Haynes’ new film about a gay love story

Now, details about Phoenix’s new role has been been revealed by French cultural magazine Les Inrockuptibles. In an interview with director Todd Haynes at the Cannes International Film Festival 2023, who was attending on behalf of his most recent directorial project, May December (2023), starring Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore.

Joaquin Phoenix as Joker
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

Haynes here talks about an upcoming film project of his, projected for “early 2024”. The film is, according to Haynes, one actually “brought to [him]” by Joaquin Phoenix himself, and slated to be a period piece set in the 1930s:

(translated) There is another film that I want to do in early 2024. It is a project that Joaquin Phoenix brought to me, which takes place in the 1930s.

Joaquin Phoenix as Joker
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

Haynes continues, explaining how this would be a movie predominantly following a “love story between two men” — and that this concept brought forth by Phoenix was “based on an original, very daring scenario”. This is also apparently Phoenix’s “first gay role” — that is to say, he has never portrayed a character who identifies as LGBTQ+:

It is a love story between two men, and based on an original, very daring scenario. This is, I believe, his first gay role. I’m very excited about this project!

Joaquin Phoenix as Joker (2019)
Credit: DC/ Warner Bros.

Clearly, Haynes is extremely excited for this movie, and we can likely rest assured that Phoenix will deliver a stunning performance. However, it might be contentious to some that Phoenix is portraying an LGBTQ individual, though identifying as straight himself. Either way, fans will have to wait to hear more about this intriguing new project as things develop.

What do you think about Joaquin Phoenix portraying an LGBTQ individual in his next project? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

in Entertainment, Movies

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