The Christian Bale and Heath Ledger-starring Batman adaptation had ended up getting eight nominations at the 81st Academy Awards in 2009. It ended up winning two: a posthumous Best Supporting Actor for Ledger and Best Sound Editing.
After the nominations were announced, director Todd Philips said:
Joker began as an idea, an experiment really— could we take an 'indie approach' to a studio film by inverting it into a character study to reflect the world around us?...
You can see his Instagram post here:
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Joker began as an idea, an experiment really— could we take an “indie approach” to a studio film by inverting it into a character study to reflect the world around us? Explore what we’re seeing and feeling in society, from the lack of empathy to the effects of the absence of love. I am deeply honored by the overwhelming recognition of the Academy this morning, and I want to thank the genius that is Joaquin Phoenix, and all my incredible collaborators. We are beyond humbled that our peers in the filmmaking community have embraced the film and its message. #joker #oscars #1111
Joker has also replaced The Dark Knight as the highest-rated comic book film ever made.