Since being released in theatres in October 2019, the thriller movie has broken several records. It was the first R-rated movie to gross over $1bn at the global box office, and during its theatrical run, was ranked the sixth highest-grossing film in 2019 as a whole. With Joaquin Phoenix playing the troubled Arthur Fleck, Joker earned a total of 11 Academy Award nominations, with Phoenix taking home the Best Actor nomination for his portrayal of Gotham’s most fearsome clown.
The film’s official synopsis is as follows: “Forever alone in a crowd, failed comedian Arthur Fleck seeks connection as he walks the streets of Gotham City. Arthur wears two masks — the one he paints for his day job as a clown, and the guise he projects in a futile attempt to feel like he’s part of the world around him. Isolated, bullied and disregarded by society, Fleck begins a slow descent into madness as he transforms into the criminal mastermind known as the Joker.”
Directed by Todd Phillips, Phoenix’s iteration of the Joker is different to the one in the DCEU. Joker also exists in a separate universe from the events of Matt Reeves’ The Batman, whose own Joker was hinted at in its post-credit scene.