|TODD PHILLIPSMARC MARONCOMEDYJOKERACTOR|
Joker may have only won two of the 11 Oscars it was nominated for, but they were big ones: Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix and Best Original Score for Hildur Guðnadóttir, making her the fourth female composer to win overall and the first to win for a dramatic score. All the awards affirmation Phoenix and Guðnadóttir were also victorious at the Golden Globes has Joker director and co-writer Todd Phillips in a nostalgic mood, as he shared some behind-the-scenes photos from the final day of shooting on Instagram.
“All of these were taken on our last day of shooting. It was bittersweet for sure — while it felt great to be done, we also had such an intense and unique experience — and then suddenly it just ends,” he wrote. “What a ride this film has been and it all culminated with watching Joaquin walk up on that stage this weekend. Thanks again to the entire cast and crew. And especially the fans, for seeing through all the noise and showing up.” Phillips also added the hashtag “#illtellyouwhatyouget,” a nod to what Arthur Fleck tells Murray Franklin before shooting and killing him “You get what you fuckin' deserve!.
The photos, all of which were taken from the Arkham State Hospital set, show an emotional Phoenix dancing, hugging, smoking, and looking generally menacing. Hopefully he turns down that intensity for his next project: Mike Mills' C'mon C'mon, where he reportedly plays an “artist left to take care of his precocious young nephew as they forge an unexpected bond over a cross country trip.” Look for it this year or 2021.
Marc Maron is having a productive quarantine. Holed up in his Highland Park home in Los Angeles, Maron subscribed to the Criterion Channel, most recently watching “A Place in the Sun,” “From Here to Eternity,” “The Friends of Eddie Coyle,” and an old Rita Hayworth movie. He's been following the new season of “Better Call Saul,” and working on a new script with his partner, Lynn Shelton, who directed him in last year's “Sword of Trust” and Netflix’s “GLOW.”
And of course, he still has the podcast. While much of the world struggles with the sudden necessity to stay indoors, Maron reinvented the work-from-home rulebook when he launched “WTF with Marc Maron” in 2009 — before a deluge of comedians deuted on the platform — and he's been churning out deep-dive interviews ever since. Episode 1,106, featuring an interview with Thandie Newton, posted on Monday, and Maron said he has enough recorded material to carry him through April. Only one scheduled guest, Laura Linney, canceled due to travel complications. “We'll see if people stop coming by,” Maron said by phone on Monday. “The good thing is that I've got a little money saved and I can do my bread-and-butter in the garage.”
If Maron radiates a rather unorthodox business-as-usual vibe, it's only because he saw all this coming long ago, and his new Netflix special proves it. “Marc Maron: End Times Fun” dropped on the service March 10, one day before the World Health Organization labeled the coronavirus outbreak as a global pandemic, and the 71-minute set plays like a snarky prophet of doom softening the blow with punchlines. “It's pretty clear the word is ending,” he declares, with eerie specificity, 10 minutes in. “I think we might see it.”
He squeezes the pronouncement in between gags about taking his vitamins “You can actually believe something you know is bullshit” and the notion that paper bags could save the environment “We know in our hearts we did everything we could”. Yet as Maron leans back on his stool and deadpans his prediction, it registers as a deep-seated conviction, one now available to Netflix subscribers around the world.
“I don't want to say I'm happy that the world is on fire,” Maron said, “but rarely in my life have I had any sort of cosmic timing, and this time it's horrifying, but it's true.”
The irony of talking to Maron now is that his gloomy pronouncements exude an unusual tranquility. Maron's delivery is steeped in eye rolls and shrugs: Everything's terrible. What are we going to do? Might as well talk about it. He's lived this way...
Right now, everyone is looking for some kind of reprieve from being locked up at home due to the spread of the coronavirus across the United States. That doesn’t appear to be in the cards anytime soon, but The Office executive producers Paul Lieberstein and Ben Silverman think they’ve figured out a way to make light of the situation by crafting a new workplace comedy series inspired by the sudden rise in employees working from home due to the outbreak of coronavirus forcing people to practice social distancing.
Deadline was first to learn of the currently untitled coronavirus comedy series, though it’s not necessarily about the pandemic. Paul Lieberstein and Ben Silverman, better known to The Office fans as the frequently maligned Toby Flenderson and one of Jim’s business partners at their company Athlead, are creating the series that is said to focus on “wunderkind boss who, in an effort to ensure his staff’s connectedness and productivity, asks them all to virtually interact and work face-to-face all day.”
The series is in the works at Big Breakfast, the comedy production banner Silverman runs, where he’ll executive produce the series along with and Luke Kelly-Clyne College Humor and Kevin Healey Scare Tactics. They’ll also be working with Howard Owens’ Propagate Content, which will have Rodney Ferrell serving as an executive producer as well.
Silverman, who was also once an NBC executive, explained the inception of the series and his hope for what it will become:
“So many of us are jumping on daily Zoom meetings — for work and beyond. We are in a new normal and are personally navigating ways to remain connected and productive at work and in our home lives. With the brilliant Paul Lieberstein at the helm, we think we have a series that not only brings humor and comfort during this troubling time but will also be an inventive and enduring workplace comedy for years to come.”
While the prospect of trying to craft a series around the coronavirus outbreak sounds like a bad idea at this time, there’s no indication that the pandemic will actually play a part in the overall concept of the series. In fact, it would be easy to pull something like this off without introducing such a grim plot device.
What I’m envisioning with this series is a show with a format that echoes what we’ve seen accomplished with movies like Unfriended and Searching. Both of those films play out entirely on computer or mobile device screens and successfully tell a solid narrative. Modern Family did something similar with an episode that unfolded across the ensemble cast’s various screens, and it worked pretty well. But if that’s what this series will be like, can that concept be sustained for an entire series? Or will they need to take...
With large swathes of the population sitting at home, audiences have a chance to catch up on films that were released years ago and find new insights into their narrative. Recently, a fan who had been watching Suicide Squad with his family reached out to the film's director David Ayer to ask about the meaning behind the scene where the Joker is lying in the middle of a room lined with a circle of knives, guns, and baby clothes. Denying that the baby onesies were trophies after an infanticide spree on the part of the cackling psychopath, Ayer provided the following explanation for the scene instead.'No it's more innocent. Harley wanted a normal family with Joker hence the baby in her vision. I figured she would have endlessly pestered Mr. J about having a kid. So he had Mr. Frost buy some onesies. The circle represents how he sees Harley.'
The scene under discussion comes up early in the story. Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie, is locked up in Arkham, and we see Joker, played by Jared Leto, in his mansion mourning her absence. He has also shown to have drawn a grin across his face using a sharpie, which according to David Ayer, is because...'He was having a hard time smiling without Harley so gave himself some help with a sharpie.'
This introduction sets up the fact that this Joker is unlike any other live-action portrayal of the supervillain as a man who is missing his demon lover. The onesies we see lined up on the floor next to the Joker later make an appearance in the scene where the Enchantress offers Harley her heart's desire, and she imagines a life of domestic bliss with her beloved Mistah J, with their babies wearing the onesies.
How the circle of knives represents Harley in the mind of the Joker is up for debate. Perhaps he fears that his affection for Harley makes her dangerous to him, and thus views her as a circle of knives drawing closer, threatening to destroy him.
This sentiment of Joker being attracted towards Harley and simultaneously hating the fact that she has made him care for her is also played out in the scene where Harley willingly throws herself into a pit of acid on Joker's command. After trying to walk away from the whole thing, Joker almost unwillingly jumps in after her and rescues her, proving that she means more to him than he can bring himself to admit.
From his explanation, it is clear that Ayer had a solid backstory and reasoning behind the script for Suicide Squad, which unfortunately did not translate very well to the big screen. But now that James Gunn has taken over directorial duties on the sequel, there is a chance to see a Suicide Squad film that gets critical acclaim in addition to minting money at the box office. David Ayer on Twitter brings us this news.