Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of the Joker captivated Ridley Scott, to such an extent that he has boldly expressed admiration for the actor. However, not all of the movie’s themes are necessarily backed up by the “Blade Runner” filmmaker. Scott reaffirmed that viewing Phoenix’s Oscar-winning performance in Todd Phillips’ DC origin story motivated him to cast Phoenix in his upcoming biopic “Napoleon” in a new interview with Deadline. But he went on to say that he didn’t enjoy how the movie exalted brutality.
Scott remarked, “I was blown away by his outrageous film ‘Joker,’ I didn’t like the way it celebrated violence but Joaquin was remarkable. I thought he’d be an amazing asset to ‘Napoleon,’ [not only creatively] also in a commercial sense. There were only two actors I had in mind for the role. I won’t mention the other one.”
Scott has undoubtedly given “Joker” a lot of contemplation. In a July interview with Empire magazine, the filmmaker claimed that the movie’s wicked performance by “Gladiator” star Joaquin Phoenix convinced him that the actor was the ideal choice to portray the French general-turned-emperor.
“I’m staring at Joaquin and saying, ‘This little demon is Napoleon Bonaparte.’ He looks like him,” Scott added before providing his critique of the real Bonaparte. “I compare him with Alexander the Great. Adolf Hitler. Stalin. Listen, he’s got a lot of bad shit under his belt. At the same time, he was remarkable with his courage, and in his can-do and in his dominance. He was extraordinary.”
An epic of such scope cannot be solely dependent on the performance of one actor, despite “Napoleon” being one of the most anticipated movies of the autumn season. In a different recent interview, Scott talked about his group of artisans and advisors who assisted him in methodically recreating 19th-century France. “I can read all the books in the world on him, but instead, because the film is such a large event, I rely on my very good team,” he said. “My team does marvelous military costumes like I’ve never seen before. The costumes are mind-blowing, and then I have a military expert for cause-and-effect battle sequences. That’s all coordinated. I plan it, in a funny kind of way, a little bit like a battle.”