Christian Bale Shares His Thoughts On Joaquin’s Joker

The Dark Knight has spoken, and he apparently
can’t wait to get a look at the latest incarnation of his most iconic foe. At this year’s Toronto International Film
Festival, both Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker and Christian Bale’s upcoming car racing biopic
Ford v Ferrari were screened. Bale’s latest film premiered mere hours before
Joker was shown at TIFF 2019, and Entertainment Tonight took the chance to get the former
Batman actor’s take on Phoenix’s Joker when he walked the red carpet. Like most of the world, Bale himself hadn’t
yet seen Phoenix’s work in Joker. He did, however, take the opportunity to throw
some love in Phoenix’s general direction, and note he finds it admirable that Phoenix
is following in the footsteps of the late Heath Ledger. “Joaquin is one of the best actors around,
you know, and obviously I worked with Heath, and, you know, it’s a brave thing to follow
up that performance.” Bale went on to say he thinks Phoenix “always
makes interesting choices” and he wished the filmmakers the best with it. The world is also dying to see what maniacal
delights Phoenix and director Todd Phillips have conjured with their standalone Joker
flick. According to most critics who caught the film
at TIFF, Phoenix and Phillips have redefined the character for a new generation of Bat-fans,
delivering a gritty, wickedly insightful version of the Joker the world didn’t know it needed. Many also agree that Joker could change audiences’
perception of what comic book movies can be when it hits theaters this October. As for Bale’s kind words for Phoenix, they’re
certainly high praise from an actor of his stature. Given Bale’s past experience with the Clown
Prince of Crime, that praise is perhaps the most meaningful kind Phoenix can receive for
playing the Joker. Ledger’s work with Bale in The Dark Knight
as the bullet-, gasoline-, and anarchy-loving Joker truly is the stuff of legend; the brave
actor pushed the character beyond the frames of any comic book, film, or television version
of the Joker we’d seen before. “If you’re good at something, never do it
for free.” Purely from a legacy standpoint, most fans
believed the Joker would remain off-limits indefinitely, with Ledger’s performance continuing
to cast a long, dark shadow over the role. But eight years passed before the Joker made
his big-screen return. The Clown Prince of Crime came back with Jared
Leto’s wildly over-the-top take in the 2016 comic book misfire Suicide Squad. While that movie does have its fans, Leto’s
turn as the twisted gangster clown of Gotham City ended up not exactly being what fans
were looking for in a big-screen Joker. In the wake of the Suicide Squad debacle – and
with Cameron Monaghan delivering an equally divisive version of the Joker on Fox’s series
Gotham – many believed it would be an even longer wait to see Joker in a feature film
again. But then it was announced that Martin Scorsese
was helping to produce a standalone Joker movie to be directed by Todd Phillips, who’s
probably best known for The Hangover. To most people, it was unexpected news. “This isn’t the real Caesar’s Palace, is it?” “What do you mean?” “Did um…did Caesar live here?” Scorsese left Joker during production to focus
on other projects, but his movies certainly left their mark on the film Joker would become. As news about the movie trickled out, it became
clear that Joker would spin an original take on the character not beholden to any version
that came before. After months of speculation about who would
claim the coveted role, Phoenix officially boarded the project, an unexpected casting
choice leaving reason to believe that Joker might actually turn into something special. As Bale noted in his remarks to ET, it was
indeed “a brave thing” to follow in Ledger’s clown-shoe-sized footsteps and bring Joker
back to the big screen. Notably, Bale seemingly ignored Leto’s take
on the character entirely. “I don’t want no beef.” “You don’t want no beeeef? You don’t want no beef? You don’t want no beef…?” If the largely positive early reviews are
any indication, Phoenix’s bravery is more than paying off. In fact, many are tapping Joker to be a major
player come awards season. Though Bale may soon be facing off against
the Joker for an Oscar instead of, you know, the soul of Gotham, it appears Phoenix’s Joker
already has a fan in the former Batman actor. Phoenix’s Joker is set to bring some chaos
to moviegoers on October 4, and Bale’s Ford v Ferrari will race into theaters on November
15. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
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9 thoughts on “Christian Bale Shares His Thoughts On Joaquin’s Joker”

  1. I keep forgetting Christian Bale is English. I'm just so used to him playing American characters, especially in the Dark Knight trilogy, Hostiles, the scenes that I've watched in American Psycho, and of course his portrayal of Dick Cheney in Vice.

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