‘Joker’ cinematographer says Warner Bros. overruled plans to shoot on 70mm film

The company's decision to go digital was against Todd Phillips' wishes

Joker cinematographer Lawrence Sher has revealed that the film was originally set to be shot on 70mm celluloid film, like so many of its influences.

The film ended up being shot digitally, and it was on the insistence of studio Warner Bros, Sher says.

Sher was speaking at Poland’s Camerimage Film Festival when he revealed that shooting on film was the original plan for Joker director Todd Phillips, as Variety report.


The report states that Joker was initially meant to be a 70mm film shoot, but the plans were “quashed” by Warner Bros.

“Todd was really adamant about shooting film, convinced we’d just shoot 35mm like we did on his previous films,” Sher previously told IndieWire of the plans for the film.

“We drove around to three or four different places around [New York] and captured imagery with no lighting in both [35mm and 65mm film]. And when we looked at them side by side, we really loved the large-format aspect of the 65.”

He continued: “We were often going to be quite close to Joaquin physically, in proximity, in his apartment in some of those scenes.

“A camera three feet away from him, which also has a real psychological effect of connecting you to a character and feeling that sense of intimacy, but now we didn’t need to shoot it on a 21mm or a 24mm.”


It was revealed this week that one scene was cut from Joker for being too “insane” even for an R-rated movie.

It comes after star Joaquin Phoenix stated that “one of the best” scenes from the film ended up being cut.

Joker recently became the most profitable comic book movie ever, following its recent trophy of highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time.


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