Before a film goes before cameras, especially if it’s a major studio project, the screenplay has likely gone through copious rewrites. This does not appear to be the case, however, for Todd Phillips’ Joker, which wrapped filming in December while eying an October 2019 release date. Recently, Joker lead-actress Zazie Beetz told the folks at MTV News what it was like on set.
Not only was the screenplay re-written daily, it sounds like Phillips conducted both principal photography and reshoots in one continuous stretch. I don’t have much experience with filmmaking, but you don’t need to be a cook to know that this sounds like a recipe for disaster! In her own words:
“I can’t say anything. It’s gritty and dark. I mean, I haven’t seen a cut or anything. Gotham. (laughs) The script was great, we rewrote the whole thing while we were shooting it. Literally, we would go into (director/co-writer Todd Phillips’) trailer and write the scene for the night and then do it… During hair and makeup, we’d memorize those lines and then do them, and then we’d reshoot that three weeks later. We had to do everything then because Joaquin (Phoenix) had lost so much weight. We couldn’t do reshoots later on, so we were figuring it out.”
In addition to Beetz, Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, and Shea Whigham. Look for it to hit US theaters beginning October 4th.