Darren Aronofsky wanted to cast Joaquin Phoenix as Batman in 2000s-era movie

Darren Aronofsky has claimed his 2000s-era Batman movie was scrapped because he wanted Joaquin Phoenix to play the iconic superhero.In an interview with Empire, the director opened up about his plans to reinvent the Caped Crusader almost 20 years ago, …

Darren Aronofsky has claimed his 2000s-era Batman movie was scrapped because he wanted Joaquin Phoenix to play the iconic superhero.

In an interview with Empire, the director opened up about his plans to reinvent the Caped Crusader almost 20 years ago, but also recalled how bosses at Warner Bros. weren’t enthusiastic about his choice of leading man.

“The studio wanted Freddie Prinze Jr. and I wanted Joaquin Phoenix,” he stated. “I remember thinking, ‘Uh oh, we’re making two different films here.’ That’s a true story. It was a different time. The Batman I wrote was definitely a way different type of take than they ended up making.”

The Oscar-nominated filmmaker went on to share that he was keen to overhaul the DC Comics superhero after George Clooney’s turn as the famed character in 1997’s Batman & Robin and noted that he was looking to adapt Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One comic.

“The Batman that was out before me was Batman & Robin, the famous one with the nipples on the Batsuit, so I was really trying to undermine that, and reinvent it. That’s where my head went,” Aronofsky added.

The project never made it into production and the role of Batman has since been played by Christian Bale in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and Ben Affleck.

Robert Pattinson will be taking on the part for Matt Reeves’s upcoming film, The Batman.

And while Phoenix missed out on playing Batman, he did end up portraying the Joker in Todd Phillips’ bleak 2019 drama, for which he nabbed the prize for Best Actor at the Academy Awards in February.

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Joaquin Phoenix thanks Hollywood for giving him ‘second chance’ in Oscars speech

Joaquin Phoenix thanked Hollywood for giving him a “second chance” as he accepted the Best Actor prize at the 2020 Oscars.The 45-year-old took to the stage on Sunday to accept the Best Actor award for his portrayal of Arthur Fleck in Todd Phillips’ com…

Joaquin Phoenix thanked Hollywood for giving him a “second chance” as he accepted the Best Actor prize at the 2020 Oscars.

The 45-year-old took to the stage on Sunday to accept the Best Actor award for his portrayal of Arthur Fleck in Todd Phillips’ comic book thriller Joker, and candidly spoke directly to those who were affected by his bad behaviour over the years.

“I have been a scoundrel in my life,” a visibly emotional Joaquin told the star-studded audience. “I’ve been selfish. I’ve been cruel at times. Hard to work with. And I’m grateful that so many of you in this room have given me a second chance.

“I think that’s when we’re at our best – when we support each other. Not when we cancel each other for past mistakes. When we help each other to grow. When we educate each other. When we guide each other toward redemption. That is the best of humanity.”

Joaquin also took the opportunity to urge fellow celebrities and viewers around the world to come together and join the “fight against injustice”.

“I think, whether we’re talking about gender and equality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice,” he explained, noting that he was using his platform to give a “voice to the voiceless”.

Joaquin concluded his passionate speech with a song lyric written by his late brother River Phoenix, who tragically died at the age of 23 in 1993.

“When he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric. He said: ‘Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow,'” he said, as the audience gave him a standing ovation.

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Cynthia Erivo praises Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘brave’ BAFTAs speech

Cynthia Erivo has thanked Joaquin Phoenix for making a “brave” speech about systemic racism in Hollywood at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs).While accepting the Best Actor award at the ceremony in London last week, the Joker star took the oppor…

Cynthia Erivo has thanked Joaquin Phoenix for making a “brave” speech about systemic racism in Hollywood at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs).

While accepting the Best Actor award at the ceremony in London last week, the Joker star took the opportunity to call out the lack of diversity in this year’s awards season nominees, and urged his fellow actors to tackle the problem head-on.

In light of Phoenix’s speech, Erivo, who is the only black nominee in the acting categories at the upcoming Oscars, has praised the 45-year-old for speaking out about the issue and expressed her hope that it will force change within the industry.

“It meant that someone like him was listening and seeing what is going on and has gotten to the point where he can pretend it’s not happening anymore,” the British actress told Variety.

Erivo, who is nominated at the Academy Awards on Sunday for her portrayal of Harriet Tubman in the biopic Harriet, added that it “meant a lot” to her that Phoenix made the important speech while in her home city.

“I hope we didn’t fall on deaf ears. We never know,” she shared. “But I think it was time for someone like him to say it, because people like me, the black girls of the world, the black men of the world, are saying it consistently, but we’re not always being heard.

“So maybe it might have taken that to change something.”

Erivo, 33, previously showed her support for Phoenix’s blistering speech at the BAFTAs by posting a clip of it to Instagram on Monday.

“Joaquin Phoenix giving a word on institutional racism. Much respect,” she wrote in the caption.

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Joaquin Phoenix makes poignant speech about ‘systematic racism’ at 2020 BAFTAs

Joaquin Phoenix gave a powerful speech about “systematic racism” in Hollywood as he accepted the Best Actor prize at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) on Sunday.The 45-year-old scooped one of the night’s top honours at the ceremony for his stell…

Joaquin Phoenix gave a powerful speech about “systematic racism” in Hollywood as he accepted the Best Actor prize at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) on Sunday.

The 45-year-old scooped one of the night’s top honours at the ceremony for his stellar performance in Todd Phillips’ Joker, and used his appearance onstage at London’s Royal Albert Hall to highlight the lack of diversity at the 2020 BAFTAs, for which no people of colour were nominated for acting categories.

“I feel conflicted because so many of my fellow actors that are deserving don’t have that same privilege,” Joaquin began. “I think that we send a very clear message to people of colour that you’re not welcome here.”

“I think that’s the message that we’re sending to people that have contributed so much to our medium and our industry, and in ways that we benefit from,” he continued, adding that he wants people to be “acknowledged, appreciated and respected for their work.”

“This is not a self-righteous condemnation because I’m ashamed to say that I’m part of the problem,” he stated, and confessed to the star-studded audience that he had previously not done “everything in my power” to make sure the film sets he worked on were inclusive.

“We have to do the hard work to truly understand systemic racism. I think it is the obligation of the people that have created and perpetuate and benefit from a system of oppression to be the ones that dismantle it. So that’s on us,” he concluded to wild applause.

Prince William, who serves as the President of BAFTA, also addressed the contentious issue while awarding the BAFTA Fellowship to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.

“We find ourselves talking again about the need to do more to address diversity in the sector. That cannot be right in this day and age,” he shared. “BAFTA take this issue seriously, and following this year’s nominations, have launched a full and thorough review.”

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Joaquin Phoenix honours Heath Ledger in touching SAG Awards speech

Joaquin Phoenix gave a heartfelt shout out to Heath Ledger during his touching speech at the 2020 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards on Sunday.The 45-year-old won the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role prize on Sunday for his haunt…

Joaquin Phoenix gave a heartfelt shout out to Heath Ledger during his touching speech at the 2020 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards on Sunday.

The 45-year-old won the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role prize on Sunday for his haunting portrayal of failed comedian Arthur Fleck, who becomes the infamous Gotham City villain in Joker.

When he took to the stage to deliver his speech, Phoenix made sure he acknowledged the late Australian actor, who played the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight back in 2008 and tragically died of an accidental overdose just months before its release. He posthumously won a Golden Globe, a SAG Award and an Academy Award for his riveting performance as the comic book villain.

Phoenix, who has already won two of the same awards and is frontrunner for Best Actor at the Oscars in February, paid tribute to the late actor by saying, “Really, I’m standing here on the shoulders of my favourite actor, Heath Ledger.”

As well as his touching reference to Ledger, Phoenix used his time onstage to honour each of his fellow nominees in his category.

He opened his speech with a story about Leonardo DiCaprio, who was nominated for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and joked that he lost out on roles as a young actor to the Titanic star.

“There would always be two other guys that I was up against and we’d always lose to this one kid… every casting director would always whisper, ‘It’s Leonardo,'” he said. “You’ve been an inspiration for over 25 years to me and so many people.”

He then turned to Christian Bale, and jokingly begged him to perform badly in at least one movie, saying, “It’s infuriating. I wish you would. Just suck once.”

The star then focused on Adam Driver, who was up for his role in Marriage Story, and told him “you should be here (winning the award)”.

“I’ve been watching you the last few years and you’ve been turning in these beautiful, nuanced, incredible, profound performances. I’m just so moved by you,” Phoenix gushed.

Finally, he heaped praise on Rocketman star Taron Egerton, and told the Welshman from the stage, “You’re so beautiful in this movie and I’m so happy for you, and I can’t wait to see what else you do.”

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1917 triumphs at Producers Guild Awards

1917 took home the top honour at the Producers Guild Awards on Saturday.Sam Mendes’ film won the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures during the ceremony at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, beating box of…

1917 took home the top honour at the Producers Guild Awards on Saturday.

Sam Mendes’ film won the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures during the ceremony at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, beating box office hits including The Irishman, Joker, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Taking to the stage, Sam paid tribute to the “incredible efforts” of the cast and crew and said working on 1917 – which was filmed to look like one continuous shot – was “humbling and joyful and by far the best experience of my professional life”.

The PGA win, which comes shortly after it was named Best Motion Picture – Drama at the Golden Globes, means 1917 is now one of the frontrunners for the Best Picture Oscar. The war movie is nominated for 10 prizes at the Academy Awards, which take place on 9 February.

In other categories, the Outstanding Producer of Documentary Motion Pictures went to those behind Apollo 11, while Toy Story 4 took home the PGA award for Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures.

In TV, Succession scooped the Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Drama, Fleabag won the Danny Thomas Award for Episodic Television – Comedy, and Chernobyl collected the David L. Wolper Award for Limited Series Television.

Meanwhile, Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television went to Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland, Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment & Talk Television recognised Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and RuPaul’s Drag Race won Outstanding Producer of Game & Competition Television.

Outstanding Sports Program went to What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali, Sesame Street took home Outstanding Children’s Program, and Outstanding Short-Form Program was awarded to Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Special accolades were also given to Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Marta Kauffman, Octavia Spencer, the film Bombshell, and Plan B’s Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Kleiner.

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Margot Robbie wanted to make Birds of Prey while filming Suicide Squad

Margot Robbie has wanted to make Birds of Prey since she began filming Suicide Squad in 2015.The Australian actress debuted her unhinged character Harley Quinn in the 2016 ensemble anti-superhero movie, which was directed by David Ayer and starred Will…

Margot Robbie has wanted to make Birds of Prey since she began filming Suicide Squad in 2015.

The Australian actress debuted her unhinged character Harley Quinn in the 2016 ensemble anti-superhero movie, which was directed by David Ayer and starred Will Smith, Jared Leto, Viola Davis, and Jai Courtney.

And she knew she wanted to further explore the former psychologist-turned-criminal while playing the DC Comics character for the first time, as she believed there was a gap in the market for a strong female action hero.

“I love action films, and I think there’s a misconception perhaps subconsciously for people: action films are for dudes, girls don’t really like them,” the 29-year-old told Variety. “Which is just not true. I love them! I know heaps of other women who love them.

“I loved movies like the Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu Charlie’s Angels growing up. So I knew I wanted to find that, and help put that on screen somewhere.”

She then turned to the Birds of Prey comics, which sees Harley joining forces with Black Canary, Helena Bertinelli, and Renee Montoya to take down a narcissistic crime lord, and became “obsessed” with them.

“It seemed like a good platform for a female ensemble franchise, because so many different characters come in and out of the Birds of Prey. And Harley is an easy character to insert into almost any situation, because no matter what, she’s gonna just stir s**t up,” Margot laughed.

The Oscar-nominated actress also lavished praise on Todd Phillips’ Joker, in which Joaquin Phoenix portrays the iconic Batman villain, who dates Harley Quinn in the DC Comics.

“He did a phenomenal job,” she gushed.

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Joker leads 2020 Oscar nominations

Joker has led the nominations for the 92nd annual Academy Awards with a total of 11 nods.The box office hit, which focuses on the origin story of the DC Comics villain, landed nominations on Tuesday for categories including Best Picture, Best Actor for…

Joker has led the nominations for the 92nd annual Academy Awards with a total of 11 nods.

The box office hit, which focuses on the origin story of the DC Comics villain, landed nominations on Tuesday for categories including Best Picture, Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix, Best Director for Todd Phillips, and Best Adapted Screenplay, plus a host of technical categories such as Best Cinematography.

The Irishman, 1917, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood each follows with 10 nods, and will face-off against Ford v Ferrari/Le Mans ’66, Jojo Rabbit, Little Women, Marriage Story, and Parasite for Best Picture.

Leonardo DiCaprio scored a Best Actor nomination for his performance in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, with co-star Brad Pitt recognised in the Best Supporting Actor list and director Quentin Tarantino honoured with a Best Director nod.

The Irishman stars Al Pacino and Joe Pesci each landed a Best Supporting Actor nomination, with Martin Scorsese also appearing in the Best Director category.

Elsewhere, Harriet’s Cynthia Erivo, Marriage Story’s Scarlett Johansson, Little Women’s Saoirse Ronan, Bombshell’s Charlize Theron, and Judy’s Renee Zellweger make up the Best Actress category.

Despite being tipped for Oscar success, Jennifer Lopez missed out on a nod in the Best Supporting Actress list for her acclaimed performance as stripper Ramona in Hustlers.

Instead, Richard Jewell’s Kathy Bates, Marriage Story’s Laura Dern, Jojo Rabbit’s Johansson, Little Women’s Florence Pugh, and Bombshell’s Margot Robbie will be competing for the prize.

Tom Hanks landed his first Oscar nod in almost 20 years in the Best Supporting Actor category for his role as children’s TV favourite Fred Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, with The Two Popes’ Anthony Hopkins completing the category.

The 92nd Academy Awards will take place on 9 February at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

The full list of nominees is as follows:

Best Picture:

1917

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Joker

Little Women

Marriage Story

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Parasite

Ford v Ferrari

Best Director:

Bong Joon Ho – Parasite

Sam Mendes – 1917

Martin Scorsese – The Irishman

Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Todd Phillips – Joker

Leading Actress:

Cynthia Erivo – Harriet

Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story

Saoirse Ronan – Little Women

Charlize Theron – Bombshell

Renee Zellweger – Judy

Leading Actor:

Antonio Banderas – Pain and Glory

Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Adam Driver – Marriage Story

Jonathan Pryce – The Two Popes

Joaquin Phoenix – Joker

Supporting Actress:

Kathy Bates – Richard Jewell

Laura Dern – Marriage Story

Scarlett Johansson – Jojo Rabbit

Florence Pugh – Little Women

Margot Robbie – Bombshell

Supporting Actor:

Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Al Pacino – The Irishman

Anthony Hopkins – The Two Popes

Joe Pesci – The Irishman

Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Adapted Screenplay:

The Irishman – Steven Zaillian

Jojo Rabbit – Taika Waititi

Joker – Todd Phillips and Scott Silver

Little Women – Greta Gerwig

The Two Popes – Anthony McCarten

Original Screenplay:

Knives Out – Rian Johnson

Marriage Story – Noah Baumbach

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Quentin Tarantino

Parasite – Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won

1917 – Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns

International Feature:

Corpus Christi

Les Miserables

Pain and Glory

Parasite

Honeyland

Documentary Feature:

American Factory

The Cave

For Sama

Honeyland

The Edge of Democracy

Animated Feature:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

I Lost My Body

Missing Link

Klaus

Toy Story 4

Original Score:

1917 – Thomas Newman

Joker – Hildur Gudnadottir

Little Women – Alexandre Desplat

Marriage Story – Randy Newman

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – John Williams

Original Song:

I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away – Toy Story 4

I’m Standing With You – Breakthrough

(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again – Rocketman

Into the Unknown – Frozen 2

Stand Up – Harriet

Cinematography:

1917 – Roger Deakins

The Irishman – Rodrigo Prieto

Joker – Lawrence Sher

The Lighthouse – Jarin Blaschke

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Robert Richardson

Film Editing:

Ford v Ferrari

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Joker

Parasite

Production Design:

1917

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Parasite

Costume Design:

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Joker

Little Women

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Makeup and Hairstyling

Bombshell

Joker

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Judy

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Sound Editing:

1917

Ford v Ferrari

Joker

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Sound Mixing:

Ad Astra

Ford v Ferrari

Joker

1917

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Visual Effects:

1917

Avengers: Endgame

The Irishman

The Lion King

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Animated Short:

Dcera (Daughter)

Hair Love

Kitbull

Memorable

Sister

Documentary short:

In the Absence

Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)

Life Overtakes Me

St. Louis Superman

Walk Run Cha-Cha

Live Action Short:

Saria

A Sister

Brotherhood

Nefta Football Club

The Neighbors’ Window

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Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino land Directors Guild nominations

Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino have been nominated for the top honour at the 2020 Directors Guild of America (DGA) awards. The veteran filmmaker has received a nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film for 20…

Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino have been nominated for the top honour at the 2020 Directors Guild of America (DGA) awards.

The veteran filmmaker has received a nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film for 2019 for his gangster epic The Irishman and faces competition from Tarantino for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Bong Joon-Ho for South Korean thriller Parasite, Sam Mendes for one-take war movie 1917, and Taika Waititi for Jojo Rabbit.

Four of the nominees were also nominated for Best Director at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs, while Joker filmmaker Todd Phillips, who received recognition from BAFTA and the Globes, is surprisingly absent from the shortlist and has been replaced by Waititi. Mendes took home the directing prize at the Globes on Sunday.

The five DGA nominees don’t always line up with the five Oscar nominees for Best Director, but the last six winners of the main DGA prize – most recently, Roma’s Alfonso Cuaron and The Shape of Water’s Guillermo del Toro – have gone on to win the Academy Award.

During the DGA ceremony, which takes place on 25 January, a first-time film director will also receive an award. The nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director for 2019 include Mati Diop, who became the first black woman to direct a film featured In Competition at the Cannes Film Festival last year with Atlantics, Alma Har’el for Shia LaBeouf’s biopic Honey Boy, Melina Matsoukas for Queen & Slim, Joe Talbot for The Last Black Man in San Francisco, and Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz for The Peanut Butter Falcon.

On Tuesday, the Producers Guild of America (PGA) also announced their nominations. The Irishman, 1917, Parasite, Jojo Rabbit, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood are all up for The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures, alongside Ford v Ferrari, Joker, Knives Out, Little Women, and Marriage Story.

The winner will be announced on 18 January.

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Stella McCartney ‘proud’ to design Joaquin Phoenix’s awards season tuxedo

Stella McCartney is “proud” to have designed Joaquin Phoenix’s sustainable awards season suit. The 45-year-old star beat the likes of Adam Driver, Antonio Banderas, Christian Bale, and Jonathan Pryce to win the Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama p…

Stella McCartney is “proud” to have designed Joaquin Phoenix’s sustainable awards season suit.

The 45-year-old star beat the likes of Adam Driver, Antonio Banderas, Christian Bale, and Jonathan Pryce to win the Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama prize for his portrayal of iconic comic book villain Joker in the film of the same name at the Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Phoenix wore a black tuxedo by the British designer and accompanied the outfit with a crisp white shirt, black bow tie, and Garrett Leight California Optical sunglasses.

Accordingly, McCartney praised the actor for choosing a custom-made tuxedo that was created with sustainable materials that haven’t been tested on animals, in keeping with her vegetarian brand’s ethos, and wearing the same outfit for the whole awards season.

“This man is a winner… wearing custom Stella because he chooses to make choices for the future of the planet and all of its creatures,” she wrote on Instagram besides photos of Phoenix with his award. “He has also chosen to wear this same Tux for the entire award season to reduce waste. I am proud and honoured to join forces with you Joaquin, keep inspiring and keep shining your light x Stella.”

The Golden Globe winner, who is a vegan and an animal rights campaigner, has previously worn McCartney designs on the red carpet. He sported one of her tuxedos to the premiere of Joker at the Venice Film Festival in August and when he won the Best Actor prize at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival in France for his performance in You Were Never Really Here.

Phoenix took his animal rights campaigning one step further this year, as he successfully lobbied Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) officials to serve a vegan meal at the prizegiving on Sunday. His representative confirmed the news to New York Post’s gossip column Page Six.

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