Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips have broken their silence on Joker's eleven 2020 Academy Award nominations. DC fans and the world weren't really ready for what Phoenix and Phillips were preparing. For the longest time, the actor would neither confirm nor deny that he was attached to the project or even in talks for the part. Phillips insists that Phoenix never really said yes or no, and that he just started showing up.
From the start, the aim was to do something different with Joker. Todd Phillips warned comic book fans early on that this was not going to be an origin tale based on a specific run of stories. Joaquin Phoenix simply called the movie a character study, which seems to be the best description, even after the movie hit theaters. But, there's a lot more to it than that.
This morning, Joker was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, including a Best Actor nod for Joaquin Phoenix. This is the fourth time that the 45-year old has been nominated. After wins at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice awards, Phoenix released a statement about his Oscar nomination. You can read his statement below.
"I feel honored and humbled to have been nominated by my fellow actors. The Academy's encouragement helped ignite and sustain my career and I am incredibly grateful for that support. I'd like to also congratulate my fellow nominees for being recognized for their inspiring performances that have enriched our art form."
Todd Phillips released his statement on social media, making sure to thank Joaquin Phoenix and his collaborators for making Joker happen at all. In his statement, Phillips probably gives the best description of the movie yet, confirming the influence from today's society. Both Phillips and Phoenix would get rather cagey when asked for specifics during the initial press run. Phillips had this to say.
"Joker began as an idea, an experiment really- could we take an 'indie approach' to a studio film by inverting it into a character study to reflect the world around us? Explore what we're seeing and feeling in society, from the lack of empathy to the effects of the absence of love. I am deeply honored by the overwhelming recognition of the Academy this morning, and I want to thank the genius that is Joaquin Phoenix, and all my incredible collaborators. We are beyond humbled that our peers in the filmmaking community have embraced the film and its message."
Joker is not a movie for everybody and that is part of the allure. Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix were able to collaborate and do something that has never been done before with one of the most iconic villains in comic book history and a tiny budget. When it first theaters, there wasn't one person who could have predicted that it was going to cross the $1 billion mark at the box office. But, there has been Academy Awards talks ever since the world premiere. You can read the statement from Phoenix over at E! Online and Phillips' below.