In a new interview with Empire, Phillips tells the magazine that diehard fans shouldn't expect the R-rated reboot to take inspiration from any past Joker comics.
“We didn’t follow anything from the comic-books, which people are gonna be mad about," Phillips says. "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.”
Without any fealty to the Joker's DC origin story, Phillips, who shot to fame as director of The Hangover movies, and Phoenix will be better able to put their own twist on the legendary DC arch-villain, who has been played from everyone from Jack Nicholson to Heath Ledger to Jared Leto.
Joker, which hits the big screen in October, will be set in the early 1980s and spotlight Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck's rise to infamy. The film also stars Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, and Marc Maron. Check out the teaser trailer above.