Despite a cast of A-list talent that includes Joaquin Phoenix in the title role, some fans can’t be sold on Todd Phillips’ upcoming Joker one-off. Phoenix has expressed his own indifference to fan reaction. However, his co-star, Shea Whigham, insists that the film is something special. While promoting his Amazon Prime series Homecoming, Whigham spoke to Collider about his work on the new film.
“We’re in the middle of it, right now,” said Whigham. “It’s intense. For me, it’s as good as it gets. I’m flowing back and forth between television and film, and it’s not lost on me, to work with Joaquin [Phoenix] and to see what he’s doing. And Todd Phillips has put this amazing script together It’s the origin story. People haven’t seen how the Joker becomes the Joker, and oh, my God, man, it’s incredible. It really is.”
Technically, people have seen this in both comics (Batman: The Killing Joke) and onscreen (1989’s Batman). However, Whigham’s remarks give credence to the rumor that this film offers a completely fresh spin on the villain’s origin. Presumably, this new take won’t feature a vat of toxic chemicals. It’s a bold narrative maneuver, but it actually worked out pretty well for The Dark Knight in 2008.
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Whigham also gave new details about his role in the movie, and confirmed that Joker will indeed be a period piece.
“I’ll say this, Bill Camp, from The Night Of, is one of our great actors,” added Whigham. “He’s finally getting his due. He and I play two cops from Gotham P.D., in 1981 when the city was tough. We’re investigating something that’s just happened, at the start of the piece. We’re trying to get to the bottom of it, and it leads to where it leads to. You know, it’s rare that I’ve been on a set where it feels like it crackles. It’s pretty amazing . . .I want to have an experience. I don’t call it a job. I don’t say that I have a job. I have a gig, or a piece, or a film, or a show, but it’s never a job . . . We’re having an experience on Joker.”
Given Whigham’s robust acting pedigree, his praise is nothing to take lightly. Over the years, he’s delivered impressive turns in dramatic fare such as Boardwalk Empire, True Detective, and this year’s First Man. Fans of comic book properties might also recognize him as Peggy Carter’s SSR boss on ABC’s short-lived Agent Carter series.
Joker opens on October 4, 2019. Do Whigham’s remarks do anything to sway your opinion about the film? Let us know in the comment section below!