nerd radio

Get ready for the new daily show

Jim Lee says the Joker movie doesn’t ruin the character but rather enriches him…

September 4th, 2019 by Marc Comments

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that Joaquin Phoenix is playing Joker in a new movie coming out next month.

You’ll also know that it’s apparently an Oscar contender and could be the next evolutionary step for the comic book movie.

But here’s the thing, the people who made it, didn’t want to make a comic book movie.


We know that writer/director Todd Phillips struggled for a year with Warners/DC to get the movie made and now producer Emma Tillinger Koskoff said about comic book movies: “It’s not my preferred genre, the comic book genre. I literally can’t watch those movies. I try but I can’t. I should but I can’t. But I love this movie. Even if I didn’t work on this movie I would love this movie.”


Seems like a strange admission for the producer of a comic book movie to make. And, given how the narrative has been ‘this is not the comic book character origins!’ I was worried that perhaps the movie would, rather than save comic book movies, it might ruin them, I suddenly remembered… Joker has no definite origins.

Sure, The Killing Joke is seen by many as the definitive Joker origin, but no-one really knows how he came about – as he said in Suicide Squad: “I’m an idea.”

And no comic artist (and writer) Jim Lee – who has done some of his best work on the Batman universe – said something similar about the movie:

Director Todd Phillip’s @jokermovie is intense, raw and soulful. He’s talked about how his take on the Joker is not beholden to the character’s comic book roots. That said, there’s absolutely nothing in this film incongruous with our understanding of who the Joker is. If anything, Joaquin Phoenix’s mesmerizing and unsettling turn as the Joker gives us a deep and fully realized look into one of our favorite villains, and I’m sure elements will be embraced going forward in our ongoing, ever evolving mythology. That’s what powerful, compelling stories do. And without a doubt—long time DC fans will be spending a lot of time unpacking the many story revelations and questions this harrowing cautionary tale raises.

I feel that Lee is right… this movie will not take away from or ruin Joker but rather will enrich him and give his mythology a new layer.

And that is the sort of movie I want to see.


Sources: CBR and Jim Lee



Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….