The Joker, a lush drama about Batman's villainy that opens all night Thursday, has inspired a strenuous cultural needlework like several Hollywood blockbusters of the modern era. In recent months, the film has been recognized as a major achievement in filmmaking, as well as a threat to the public, the subject of violent preventive convictions and violent defenses.
But in all ways Joker stands apart from your average Adaptation comic book, the movie also brings together some of the latest industry trends and cultural forces, testing the boundaries of commercial storytelling and breaking traditional ideas about the superhero genre.
If a movie hits this weekend or breaks an Oscar next year, major Hollywood studios could well use it as a blueprint for the future. Here's a look at three key trends that have shaped the Joker and paved the way for this potential turning point.
The "old reboot" of "old standby"
It's no secret that Hollywood, increasingly relying on familiar franchises and big-name brands for cash riches, has long been passionate about reboot fever, from the flash of "Animation Classes" animation classes , Aladdin), and the revival of the Universal Jurassic Park franchise for Spider-Man's Three Cycles. (Universal Pictures is a division of NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News.)
But in an effort to refresh fresh formulas and engage an adult-turned-audience, mainstream studios have also embraced darker material that engages in established material: harsh visuals, mature visuals. , realistic violence.
The "sharp reboot" approach has become a guiding principle and a cliché for press releases for stewards of leading Hollywood Dutch franchises, even appearing as a Twitter meme a YouTube parody channel and a trove of television fandom.
The financial success of the recent reboots – psychologically tortured by Daniel Craig of the 007 incarnation in James Bond films, the apocalyptic recap of Godzilla in 2014, the latest trilogy of Planet of the Apes darkness – helped trash the Joker Joaquin Phoenix as a restless comedian stand that descends into madness and violent violence on the sidelines of Gotham City.
"When you get up to 20th or 25th installment Getting into a long-running franchise, you have to start playing, especially with a character who is 80 years old," said Gabriel Rossman, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. specializes in media. ("The Joker", for the record, is the 11th real-time feature film based on characters in the Batman Universe, released in the last 30 years.)
Todd Phillips, director and co-author of "The Joker", was made aware of his intent make a somber, decidedly unfriendly exploration of characters in Martin Scorsese's classics, such as "Taxi Driver" and "King of Comedy," using a mass-marketed franchise like the Trojan Horse movie.
"It really came from this idea. What if you were just making a comic book movie differently?" Phillips recently told The Los Angeles Times. "We all grew up on these character studies, and there are few and far between ours today. It was like, 'Let's dive deep into one of these guys for real.' No one is going to fly into it. No building is being destroyed. just be on earth, so to speak. "
The R-rated comic book
has been dominated by Disney for decades with its widespread Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), a 23-time global jungout beloved by children and parents. The lucrative franchise, despite all its crazy sci-fi encroachment, has never deviated from the safe limits of PG-13 ratings. If the series became too spicy, parents of younger viewers would be turned away, and the supporting income – sales of figures, plush dolls – would most likely suffer.
But amid a meteoric rise in relatively clear Marvel records, other studios have experimented with a different way of doing business: R-rated superhero franchises that simultaneously expand storytelling and limit the number of viewers under the age of 17 allowed to multiplex.
"The PG-13 is the rating that traditionally gets the biggest hit on your dollar. But using the R-rating, you get a lot of benefits in terms of creative vision, the ability to push the envelope beyond the overflowing stories," he said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, an analytics company. "You can tell from the first teaser trailer to date that the Joker has an R-rating on his sleeve."
In the 20th Century, Fox raised more than $ 1.5 billion worldwide through a pair of R-rated films about Deadpool, a vicious, insane anti-hero in the common X-Men universe. The same studio has made almost $ 620 million worldwide with Logan, the 2017 independent neo-noir western about X-Men hero Wolverine (X&A Jackman), who has exhibited bloody violence.
Warner Bros., a Joker distributor, "made a similar gamble with Suicide Squad, a 2016 comic book film about a group of dangerous lovers such as Will Smith's Deadness and Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn." "got a PG-13 rating, but it matched R-rated territory with its ominous tone and hot-tempo imagery. Whatever the Joker does with the audience, the squad will stick around: Robbie stars in the standalone Native Bird movie ", which will take place in February, after which the" Squad itself. "
The Joker's rise to the best or the sick
The Dark Knight was a cultural earthquake when it hit theaters in 2008. It has earned glowing reviews, a captivating fan reaction, and more than $ 1 billion in global box office rent, more More than half of this transportation in the United States, the same year as the first Iron Man, has announced the emergence of superhero films as major, respectable cinematic events: ambitious artistic accomplishments that could breach critical respect and rewards.
In the decades since the release of The Dark Knight, another solid legacy has emerged. The film helped transform the Joker – played by Christopher Nolan's version of Heath Ledger, who died only six months before the premiere – into an icon of the early 21st century. The Joker immediately becomes a feed for spooky GIFs, a symbol of social anarchy and a political meme that makes sense in the eyes of the viewer.
Joker Ledger is likened to Internet trolls and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Photoshoped by President Barack Obama in the Joker's makeup has become one of the emblems of the Tea Party movement. For his part, Obama compared Joker perfectly with terrorists in the Islamic State. President Donald Trump and some of his supporters are ridiculed as rebels who, like the Joker, "just want to watch the world burn."
"The Joker is an extremely personalized character, a person on whom anything can be projected," said Travis Langley, author of The Joker's Psychology and Professor at Henderson State University. "He is an agent of chaos, an analogue of real-world terrorism." . including those who encourage people to make bad decisions out of fear. "
The strained socio-political context around the character is far more complex than that which overshadowed Jack Nicholson's performance in Tim Burton's Batman (1989). that the new fil Phillips' mum can inspire real chaos, especially among the online community of misogynists known as intels or involuntary celibates.
The Joker in this sense is not simply the culmination of Hollywood trends, it can be a logical end to all social upheavals. Off-screen clutter in our often sharp and rating reality, we could see a lot more where it came from.