Joaquin Phoenix's Joker Movie Was Being Rewritten as It Was Being Filmed

Ladies and gentlemen, the Joker.
Image: Warner Bros/Todd Phillips

Ah, it’s fine. The Joker doesn’t have a stable backstory anyway. Script? He doesn’t need a script!

I kid, but: In a recent interview, Zazie Beetz, one of Joaquin Phoenix’s co-stars in the upcoming Joker, directed by Todd Philips, said that the film took a loser approach to its scripting.

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“The script was great. We rewrote the whole thing while we were shooting it,” she told MTV News. “Literally, write the scene for the night and then do it. During hair and makeup we’d memorize those lines and then do them and then we’d reshoot that three weeks later.”

Before you get antsy, that’s not a necessarily unheard of practice, and sometimes improvisation can do wonders for a movie—like, for instance, the first Iron Man, which was shot in a similarly loose way. What this does tell us about the movie though is that it’s a collaborative effort, a product of the creative vision of the director and his cast. Which, whether good or bad, certainly sounds interesting.

Joker is set to premiere October 4, 2019.

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About the author

Julie Muncy

io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.