Joker, a movie about a mentally ill aspiring comedian who turns to acts of violence (that also happens to be based on one of the most popular comic book characters ever created), was originally released October 4, 2019. Since then, it’s inspired dozens of thinkpieces, made tons of money, and provoked equal parts adulation and vitriol. However, on the heels of the Academy making its mainstream love of Joker official with 11 Oscar nominations, Warner Bros. is jumping back into all of it again. For one week only, you can go see Joker on the big screen, and find some new opinions lurking within any margins you missed.
The Todd Phillips-directed, Joaquin Phoenix-starring film was recently released on digital and blu-ray. But when it comes to seeing skin-itchingly grimy depictions of a 1980s-New-York-esque Gotham City, and monstrous people committing acts of violence through it, ya just can’t beat the big screen, baby! Jeff Goldstein, the president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros., put the appeal of a Joker rerelease thusly: “With the continued interest in ‘Joker’ as a result of its recognition during this exciting awards season, we wanted to give audiences the chance to see the film on the big screen, whether for the first time or again.”
Indeed — Joker earned the most Oscar nominations of any 2019 film released. And the film earned over $1 billion in the global box office, becoming the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time. It’s clear that the darker-than-dark DC adaptation has struck a chord with audiences and (some) critics alike — this fact, plus this rerelease, just might result in higher ratings for the typically underseen Oscar ceremony. Joker also stars Robert De Niro and Zazie Beetz, was co-written by Scott Silver, and produced in part by Bradley Cooper. Phoenix recently won the Golden Globe for best actor in a leading role.
Joker returns to theaters January 17-24. For more on that twisted clown prince of crime, here’s our original review of the film. Plus: our interviews with Phoenix and Phillips, and the film’s DP and composer.