Todd Phillips Rewrote Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘Joker’ During Production

Listen, all we know for sure about Todd PhillipsJoker origin story is that it’s a low-budget noir that sees a clown’d up Joaquin Phoenix terrorizing people on a subway platform (occasionally for real) and is also somehow drawing from Martin Scorsese‘s The King of Comedy. Robert De Niro is gonna’ be there, too. It’s going to be insane, is what I’m saying, and apparently, Phillips and Co. themselves weren’t quite sure what it was going to be, either.

Speaking to MTV News, Joker star Zazie Beetz revealed that the script from Phillips and Scott Silver was being re-written throughout production, occasionally on the same day as the scene.

“The script was great. We rewrote the whole thing while we were shooting it,” Beetz said. “Literally, we would go into Todd’s trailer and 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.”

So what does that mean for the quality of the film? Hard to say! Beetz didn’t sound too miffed about the process, and on-set rewrites aren’t exactly unheard of. (I mean, the bonkers Mission: Impossible – Fallout barely had a script when it started filming.) Either way, production had to get the material right eventually, Beetz noted, because Phoenix’s significant weight loss to play pre-Joker string bean Arthur Fleck ruled out reshoots down the road.

“We had to do everything then because Joaquin had lost so much weight that we couldn’t do reshoots later on so we were figuring it out,” Beetz said. “But Todd’s quick at getting stuff done so we always had extra time.”

The Joker movie is set to premiere on October 4. For more on the film, check out the links below:

  • Joaquin Phoenix Is Clowning Around in New ‘Joker’ Image
  • Joaquin Phoenix Terrorizes a Subway Platform in ‘Joker’ Set Video 
  • ‘Joker’ Wraps Filming as Todd Phillips Shares One Final Set Photo
  • Todd Phillips Reveals First Look at Zazie Beetz in ‘Joker’