Warner Bros. has a good amount of faith in Todd Phillips’ Joker movie. Fans are already in awe of the trailers, and Joaquin Phoenix looks to be legendary as the most famous comic book villain of all time. There has always been an obsession with The Joker, Batman’s arch-nemesis, in pop culture. The combination of a killer clown and a ruthless genius somehow created an icon. Heath Ledger was the last actor to really nail the character, but it looks like Phoneix will be taking it to the next level for the Phillips film. 

Joker will be making its way to the Venice Film Festival, which is an important qualification point on the way to earning an Oscar. Venice Film Festival artistic chief Alberto Barbera spoke with Variety about Warner Bros.’ faith in the film, and also where he sees the movie going. 

“Yes, as usual they said they wanted to be in a more protected situation [as with “A Star Is Born” last year, which launched out of competition],” stated Barbera of Warner Bros.’ unexpected move of bringing Joker to Venice. “But then [director] Todd Phillips said: “I don’t care if I run the risk of not winning. Why shouldn’t I go in competition when I know what we’ve I’ve got on our hands?”

“I have to say, Warners was convinced pretty rapidly, because it’s a really surprising film,” Barbera continued. “It’s the most surprising film we’ve got this year…This one’s going straight to the Oscars even though it’s gritty, dark, violent. It has amazing ambition and scope.”