Joaquin Phoenix is playing a decidedly different character in his first follow-up to his Oscar-winning turn toward villainy in Joker. However, his role in the A24 indie film from arthouse filmmaker Mike Mills also somehow feels decidedly the same. The studio released the first trailer for the new drama C’mon C’mon. It stars Joaquin Phoenix as a radio journalist who is unexpectedly put in the position to have to take his moody nine-year-old nephew on a cross-country assignment. His character is single and finds himself reluctantly, but joyfully, taking care of his nephew following the death of the youngster’s mother — his sister.
The trailer shows Joaquin Phoenix seemingly having a ball as a reluctant parent figure to the young boy. However, he’s not simply going through the fish out of water motions. It allows the actor to showcase his vulnerability as he admits to the child in a makeshift therapy scene that he’s ill-equipped to be exactly what he needs. What follows is a trailer about a movie about two people doing their best to be good for each other amid unfavorable circumstances.
IndieWire notes that the moody, beautiful and black-and-white for its own sake film is a decidedly familiar look for those who have been paying attention to Mike Mills’ career since he burst onto the scene in 2005 with Thumbsucker. The director has made a name for himself with complex stories that border on vague ever since, most recently landing Christopher Plummer a best-supporting actor win at the Oscars in 2016. However, it’s been radio silence from the filmmaker until this latest endeavor with Joaquin Phoenix, who is joined by fellow performers such as Gaby Hoffman, Woody Norman, Scoot McNairy, Molly Webster and Jaboukie Young-White.
Meanwhile, the role puts Joaquin Phoenix in a noticeably different place as a somewhat likable and (plotwise) heroic figure compared to the dark, brooding, mentally unstable antiheroes he’s gravitated toward in the past. Of course, the best example is his Oscar-winning role as Arthur Fleck as he slowly and painfully morphs into the Batman villain The Joker in — Joker. C’mon C’mon marks the actor’s first feature-length follow-up to perhaps the darkest role of his career. So, it would make sense if he wanted to keep things light as well as challenge himself to get out of that Joker mood.
Still, that may not have been the best idea as rumors indicate that he may have to go right back into the mind of Arthur Fleck in the future. IGN reports that earlier this year, rumors indicated that director Todd Philips had been tasked by Warner Bros. with writing a sequel to the 2019 movie. However, speaking in an interview with The Playlist, Joaquin Phoenix noted that he’s not sure if those rumors were true and you’d think he’d be in the know on a Joker sequel given that he is The Joker.
However, that’s not to say that he wouldn’t want to reprise the role of Arthur Fleck. Joaquin Phonix has noted in the past that he feels he accomplished the origin story he set out to make with Joker. However, given its popularity and the fact that it’s technically a superhero movie, he’s noted that he would be willing to return to the world of Gotham City and explore a few more facets of his version of The Joker. Who knows, maybe he’ll even cross paths with Batman this time.