R-rated superhero (or super villain) movies have always been a bit of a risk for movie studios. Comic-book films usually cost a lot of money to make. Adhering to an R-rating ostracizes a large part of the comic book loving community… people under 17.
Films like Deadpool (2016) and Logan (2017) have paved the way for a new mentality on our favorite IP’s. These films have found financial and critical success with the latter even picking up an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. Small character driven approaches to characters can work, and don’t require the massive budget of traditional comic-book films.
Director Todd Phillips took to his Instagram account to give us a “behind-the-scenes” style shot of the Clown Prince of Crime (Joaquin Phoenix) applying his iconic Joker makeup. Phillips also confirmed in the comments the movies R-rating, stating he “just assumed people knew.”
Joker looks to be heavily leaning into the darker and serious tones of the character. Though an R-rating is not essential for this type of story, it could allow Todd Phillips and company the freedom to truly portray the mania that is the Joker.
Joker is set to hit theater October 4, 2019, and stars Joaquin Phoenix as the Clown Prince of Crime (along side Zazie Beetz, Robert De Niro, Bryan Callen, and Brett Cullen.) The movie follows failed comedian Arthur Fleck’s encounter with violent thugs while wandering the streets of Gotham City dressed as a clown. Disregarded by society, Fleck begins a slow dissent into madness as he transforms into the criminal mastermind known as the Joker.