Joaquin Phoenix could be gunning for awards glory after being installed as the bookies favourite to win the Best Actor Oscar in 2020.
The acclaimed actor’s title role in Joker will debut at the Venice Film Festival later this month, before screening at the Toronto International Film Festival. The relative rareness of comic book movies at film festivals has fuelled speculation that it will be a major awards season contender.
At present, Phoenix is tipped to win at odds of 9/4, while Tom Hanks has odds of 3/1 for his role as Mr Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood. Elsewhere, Taron Egerton has a 10/3 chance for his acclaimed turn as Elton John in Rocketman and Antonio Banderas has a 7/2 shot for Pain and Glory.
As for Best Picture, Netflix family drama Marriage Story, which stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, is gunning for the top spot for best picture at odds of 5/1. Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is trailing behind at 6/1.
Directed by Todd Phillips, The Joker sees Phoenix star as Arthur Fleck, a failed stand-up comedian who becomes a psychopathic criminal mastermind after going insane. He becomes the titular criminal who commits atrocities in Gotham City.
Phillips recently admitted that the film will send viewers “mad” because it strays completely from the DC comic’s origins.
“We didn’t follow anything from the comic-books, which people are gonna be mad about,” the writer-director told Empire. “We just wrote our own version of where a guy like Joker might come from. That’s what was interesting to me. We’re not even doing Joker, but the story of becoming Joker. It’s about this man.”