The Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie is officially happening over at DC, with an October 4, 2019 release date finally set in stone. That said, Jared Leto is still in place as the DCEU’s Joker, leaving some to wonder how two Clown Princes of Crime could co-exist on the silver screen. With all of that in mind, Clerks director and all-around DC guru Kevin Smith opened up at San Diego Comic-Con and admitted that we should count ourselves lucky that we’re getting two big screen Jokers. Smith explained:
When I was growing up, we had no Joker movies, and you were lucky if you got a Batman movie, and the Joker was usually in that. But think about it now, it’s a world full of comic book movies. We’ve seen all the big guns and all the main characters. Aquaman’s coming down the pike this summer, that’s tremendous. But in that world, why not single out one of the most famous comic book villains, most famous bad guys of all time, the Joker?
He has a point. There was a time when a superhero movie would only debut once every few years. The era of Tim Burton’s Batman was decidedly different compared to the post-Marvel Cinematic Universe world, and now we’re in an era in which the superhero landscape has become saturated with more obscure characters like Iron Man and Aquaman. Given the context of this landscape, Kevin Smith seems to think that it only makes sense for DC to go all in on its biggest villain and invest in multiple Joker stories — the Joaquin Phoenix movie is currently in development, as well as the Jared Leto-fronted Joker projects set for the DCEU.
Another thing worth noting is the fact that the idea of multiple Joker movies feels very much in line with what the comic book genre has done time and time again over the years. Elsewhere in his interview with Variety at San Diego Comic-Con, Kevin Smith noted that those who can’t keep track of this type of split continuity have no place in the comic book movie world, as this type of storytelling continually pops up in the pages of DC Comics.
That move towards the style of an actual comic book method of storytelling is something that the genre hasn’t really seen before, and as Kevin Smith pointed out, that distinction from the current MCU method could help DC in the long run after a series of missteps. Smith explained:
To me, it smells like a step in the right direction. They’ve taken a lot of crap for all the movies they’ve made so far not being as good as the Marvel movies, because they’ve been trying to make them in the Marvel method.
Lastly, we should mention the fact that DC isn’t hurting for content outside of the realm of The Joker. San Diego Comic-Con was full of amazing DC updates, including the trailer for Aquaman and the trailer for Shazam! These more obscure characters are taking on far more prominent roles in the DC world, but Joker will arguably always be a major fixture worthy of this many films.