Of all the comic book movies on the calendar in the coming years, the one that arguably stands out as not like the others is Todd Phillips’ Joker. The origin film for Batman’s archenemy is unique in more ways than one, and that’s part of what makes it interesting. One thing that Joker is doing differently than other comic book movies is how it approaches leaks, as filmmaker and professional fanboy Kevin Smith explained:
Because of the nature of the actual production process on Joker, shooting on location in New York City, there is no way to completely prevent leaked photos and the like from making their way out in to the world. The ubiquity of cameras thanks to cell phones means that anything short of a tightly regulated sound stage is bound to have leaks; a shoot like Joker, where a lot of stuff is on location, especially so.
Chances are if you follow comic book movie news on the internet, you’ve probably seen some of these leaked photos and videos from Joker. But you’ve also probably seen the official stuff released by director Todd Phillips. That’s what Kevin Smith is highlighting here. Instead of just ignoring the leaks and letting them stand as the only material out there until closer to release, Warner Bros. is getting ahead of things.
That is definitely not the norm, as comic book movies usually keep the lid firmly shut until they’re ready to show stuff, even if there are leaks out in the ether. Leaked set photos and videos often look terrible and the studio has no control if they aren’t representative of the film itself.
Kevin Smith is right that we are seeing official looks at Joker now even though it’s still filming and we’re around a year away from the film’s release. On his Fatman Beyond show, Kevin Smith mentioned 2008’s The Dark Knight, but we actually did get a look at Heath Ledger as the Joker in 2007. Still though, Todd Phillips has been putting a fair bit of stuff out there giving us more looks at this movie than we would normally get from a comic book movie at this stage.
A more recent example that shows how different Joker‘s approach has been is Captain Marvel. The first set photo leaks from that film of Brie Larson in costume came out in January of 2018, but our first official look from Marvel didn’t arrive until September. Marvel chose not to have leaks impact its timeline on when it wanted to show stuff.
Joker is taking a different approach. Neither is right or wrong, but given the fact that Joker is more susceptible to leaks because of the way it is shooting, it does make sense that Todd Phillips’ is making sure that for every cheap cell phone shot he’s giving us a high quality image to get fans excited about the movie.
Getting a look at this film relatively early in the production process isn’t the only unique thing that sets Joker apart either. In an age of cinematic universes and franchises, Todd Phillips’ movie is a separate entity and presumably a one-off. It is no blockbuster either, at least not by budget standards with its modest cost of just $55 million.
This all makes Joker unique and intriguing, as to whether or not it will be any good we have a while to go before we find out. Joker arrives in theaters on October 4, 2019. For all of next year’s biggest titles, check out our 2019 release schedule.