He just didn't think they'd actually make it
It’s been revealed that Joaquin Phoenix had the idea to make a lower budget, superhero character study movie years ago.
Phoenix will take on the role of The Joker in a new origin movie, that is described as an “exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.”
Now in a new interview, Phoenix revealed that he called his agent with the idea years ago. “Three or four years ago, I called my agent and said ‘Why don’t they want to take one of these characters and just make a lower budget film about it, a movie but a character study, and why not take one of the villains?’ And I thought, ‘You can’t do the Joker, because, you know, it’s just you can’t do that character, it’s just been done,’” he told Collider.
“So I was trying to think of other characters, and he said ‘I’ll set up a general meeting with Warner Bros.’ And I said ‘I’m not gonna go, I can’t go to a general meeting.’ So I completely forgot about it, and so then I heard about this idea, I was like, ‘Oh that’s so exciting, that’s the kind of experience I wanted to have, with a movie based on a comic character.’ I felt like you could get something on screen.”
The movie will be directed by The Hangover’s Todd Phillips, who Phoenix describes as ‘very impressive’. “He seems to have a very interesting understanding of this world and what he’s trying to say,” Phoenix continued. “And so there is something very appealing about that and working with him on this particular project. It feels unique, it is its own world in some ways, and maybe, mostly, it scares the fucking shit out of me or something. It might as well be the thing that scares you the most.”