Willem Dafoe Wants To Play ‘The Joker’ Alongside Joaquin Phoenix

Cameron Frew


Willem Dafoe Wants To Play 'The Joker' Alongside Joaquin PhoenixSony Pictures Releasing/Warner Bros.

Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there? Willem Dafoe has pitched his idea for a Joker movie alongside Joaquin Phoenix.

Dafoe is easily among the greatest actors of the 21st century. His performance as the Green Goblin was so indelible he reprised the role for Spider-Man: No Way Home, and an Oscar has somehow passed him by despite acclaimed performances in At Eternity’s Gate, The Lighthouse and The Florida Project.

His flair for the unhinged has seen him fan-cast as the Joker for years now, even before Heath Ledger’s unforgettable turn in The Dark Knight. Dafoe himself has considered the Clown Prince of Crime – but his idea is unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

Willem Dafoe. (Alamy)Alamy

Ahead of the release of Nightmare Alley, Guillermo del Toro’s new thriller starring Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett, Dafoe sat down with GQ to discuss the movie, a little bit of Spidey and his pitch for taking on the Joker.

‘There is something interesting about, like, if there was a Joker imposter. So it would be possible to have not duelling Jokers but someone that says to be the Joker that isn’t the Joker,’ he said.

‘And that kind of opens up the possibility of an interesting story, particularly if you had Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker, and then you had someone who was either imitating or riffing off what he did. I fantasised about that. But other than that I am not talking to anybody [about it], you’re the first one.’

Joker 2019 Joaquin PhoenixWarner Bros.

Despite his fame for playing one of cinema’s most famous comic book movie villains, Dafoe doesn’t specifically lean towards those characters. ‘I’ll play dumb. You play characters. I could say, ‘Oh yeah, it’s fun to play villains ’cause you can do things that you can’t do in life, or it’s fun to play with your dark side’. But I don’t know. I’m not thinking about those things,’ he said.

Director Todd Phillips originally said there weren’t any plans for a sequel to Joker – however, its billion-dollar success at the box office quickly sparked rumours of a follow-up being developed.

‘I think they’re just giving us time, and if we can figure it out, and if Joaquin’s down to do it, we would do it. But we haven’t gotten near that yet,’ Phillips earlier said, while Phoenix said he ‘there are some things we could do with this guy and [explore] further’, but couldn’t confirm if a sequel has officially been greenlit.

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Topics: Film and TV, Joaquin Phoenix, Joker, The Joker


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