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Joaquin Phoenix's Role As The Joker Could Nab Him An Oscar

Joaquin Phoenix's Role As The Joker Could Nab Him An Oscar

Could Joaquin Phoenix's portrayal as The Joker get him an Oscar? Bookies seem to think so

In much the same way that everyone has a favourite Batman (Michael Keaton, obviously), everybody also has a favourite Joker. There have been some excellent portrayals of the grinning sociopath, too - Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and even Zach Galifianakis in The LEGO Batman Movie all did great jobs. And Jared Leto definitely did the psychotic side of him down to a T.

But it looks like there's a new Crown Prince Of Crime in town, namely Joaquin Phoenix, who plays the most evil villain in the DC Universe in the forthcoming origin story of the Joker - which, handily, is titled Joker.

Warner Bros.

Directed by Todd Phillips - best known for calling the shots for comedy series The Hangover and co-writing A Star Is Born - the film gets its release on October 4, but will be shown at the Venice Film Festival later this month, prompting speculation that Phoenix might well be a contender to take the Best Actor award at the 2020 Oscars.

In fact, the actor is currently the bookies' favourite to claim the gong, with odds of 9/4. According to the NME, he's up alongside Tom Hanks, who has odds of 3/1 for his role as Mr Rogers in A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood, Taron Egerton, who's been given a 10/3 chance for his portrayal of Elton John in Rocketman, and Antonio Banderas who's been given 7/2 odds for his role in Pain And Glory.

Interestingly and unusually - and probably much to the disgust of hardcore DC/Batman/Joker fans - Joker pays next to no attention to the (admittedly numerous) origin stories of the comic books.

In this film, The Joker's real name is Arthur Fleck - a failed stand-up comedian who turns to a life of psychopathic crime after he goes insane. He becomes known as The Joker after he wreaks havoc on Gotham City with a series of deranged crimes.

It's a decision that Phillips has pre-emptively defended. In an interview with Empire magazine, he said: "We didn't follow anything from the comic-books, which people are gonna be mad about. We just wrote our own version of where a guy like Joker might come from. That's what was interesting to me. We're not even doing Joker, but the story of becoming Joker. It's about this man."

Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Topics: TV and Film, US Entertainment, The Joker