Joaquin Phoenix is set to win the Best Actor Oscar this Sunday for “Joker,” one of 11 Academy Award nominations the comic book drama received at the 92nd Academy Awards, but that’s not stopping Lakeith Stanfield’s plan to one day play the notorious Batman villain. The “Sorry to Bother You” and “Uncut Gems” favorite has been outspoken in the past about wanting to star in his own Joker movie. The actor told Deadline in December 2018 he was certain it would happen one day, adding, “I want people to dress up as me as black Joker, when that inevitably happens.” During an interview with Collider this week, Stanfield took his vision to the next level by throwing out a dream collaboration with Josh and Benny Safdie for the project.
“What I’d bring to it would have a lot to do with who I collaborate with, and how the story’s written and what world we exist in, and then I’ll go do my lil magic,” Stanfield said when asked how he wants to move forward with his Joker movie. “Wouldn’t it be crazy if me and the Safdies did something like that?”
The Safdie brothers directed Stanfield in “Uncut Gems,” the Adam Sandler-starring drama that is on the verge of becoming the highest grossing domestic release in A24’s history. The Safdie brothers specialize in high-anxiety filmmaking, a perfect tone for a movie about a mentally unstable murderer. Many critics would argue the Safdie brothers’ atmospheric tension would have made Phoenix’s “Joker” that much stronger. Phoenix is a lock to win the Oscar for his performance, the second time an Academy Award will go to an actor playing the Joker after Heath Ledger won the Best Supporting Actor category for Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight.” Other iterations of the Joker on the big screen have been played by Jack Nicholson (Tim Burton’s “Batman”) and Jared Leto (David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad”).
“I just think there are so many things that haven’t been touched yet in terms of how the performance can be delivered, when I make the movie myself,” Stanfield originally told Deadline about wanting to play Joker. “I make my own Joker movies at home with my own personal camera. All you gotta do is just dress up and make your own.”
Stanfield memorably showed up to the “Joker” world premiere last fall sporting the trademark makeup of the Batman villain (see photo above). Next up for the actor is a starring role opposite Issa Rae in the Stella Meghie’s “The Photograph,” opening February 14 from Universal.