Why is Joker set in 1981?


Let’s face it, the DC Extended Universe never quite hit the heights it was supposed to.

While Man Of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Justice League, Aquaman and Shazam all had good moments, whenever they came together it never captured the interest of the cinematic community quite like the efforts over at Marvel.

Read More: First ‘Joker’ reviews call it a ‘masterpiece,’ hail Joaquin Phoenix

In recent years, DC made the decision to move away from their Extended Universe. Instead they’ve focused on making their individual movies feel more distinctive rather than trying to pack as many characters as they could into each of them.

Joker is a perfect example of this alteration, as it is completely unique and stands alone as its own movie. Director Todd Phillips has now admitted that’s exactly why he decided to set Joker in 1981, because he wanted to make sure that it didn’t connect to the DC Extended Universe in any way whatsoever.

Director Todd Phillips looks on at the premiere of “Joker” at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

In a recent interview with Cinemablend, Phillips was asked why Joker was set in 1981, and he explained, “One reason was to separate it quite frankly, from the DC universe.”

“When I pitched to Warner Brothers, and handed the script in, to sort of make it clear, this isn’t f***ing with anything you have going on. This is like a separate universe. So much so, it takes place in the past, before everything else.”

Read More: ‘Joker’ director reveals ‘hurdles’ he faced making it R-rated film as final trailer lands

But does that mean that Phoenix’s Joker could eventually crossover with other DC characters? Phillips is still being rather coy, as he told IGN, “We have no plans for a sequel. The quote was, ‘I will do anything Joaquin wants to do.’ And I would. But the movie’s not set up to [have] a sequel. We always pitched it as one movie, and that’s it.”

Joker is released on October 4.


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