Joaquin Phoenix is the latest actor to take on the role of the Joker in a movie that is intended to be the first in a series of standalone DC-based features that will be separate to the DC Extended Universe.
The Jokeralso stars Robert de Niro and focuses on the story of how the legendary character came into existence, as a failed stand-up comedian who turns to crime. Details of the movie were first revealed back in 2017, with filming beginning last autumn, and it is set for an October release, with bookmaker Paddy Power giving it a tentative 25/1 quote in the Best Picture betting.
It isn’t the first time that Joaquin Phoenix has been linked with a character in the super hero genre, but he has reportedly turned down other roles that would require him to play the same character in multiple movies, preferring to work on a standalone project.
There have been numerous portrayals of the Batman adversary over the decades, but the definitive version remains the performance of the late Heath Ledger in Dark Knight, which earned him a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2008. That’s a high standard for Joaquin Phoenix to aim at, and punters looking for potential outsiders in the Best Picture betting should also note that no super-hero (or super-villain) themed movie has ever been nominated in this category.
And if this is the year for a super-hero Best Picture, The Joker faces significant competition from the rival Marvel stable, with Captain Marvel (20/1) already having made a big impact at the box office after its release in January, and the eagerly-awaited Avengers: Endgame (14/1) due out later in the year. There are also some heavyweight contenders at the top of the betting, including The Irishman (3/1), which also stars De Niro, and political thriller The Laundromat (4/1).