Ever since its release last October, “Joker” has taken the entertainment world by storm.
The film grossed over a billion dollars (the first R-rated film to do so) and received critical praise, culminating in two Oscar wins at the 92nd Academy Awards.
However, the film has also been the subject of much controversy surrounding its story and content.
Before its release, there were numerous articles and endless discourse about how a film could have a protagonist that turns into one of the most evil villains in comic book history.
Many people were unsure of the decision to make the character sympathetic.
This type of story is something that the genre of comic book adaptations desperately needs.
“Joker” is a film that leans heavily into the darkness of the subject and looks unflinchingly at its protagonist’s disturbing mental breakdown. The film is part of a growing trend of mature comic book adaptations, which use the genre to tell important, relevant stories that explore more mature themes.
These adaptations include 2017’s “Logan,” an R-rated Western that delved into the slow breakdown of Hugh Jackman’s iconic Wolverine character; and last year’s “Watchmen” on HBO, which tackled issues of race and inequality through the lens of a superhero narrative.
“Joker,” “Logan” and “Watchmen” all received critical acclaim and are capable of telling compelling stories.
It is a disservice to the audience to not promote unique storytelling voices such as these.
Hopefully studios will be encouraged to continue to pursue unique, individual voices and be less concerned with how those voices fit into an interconnected universe.
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