Washington DC: Joaquin Phoenix-starrer 'Joker' received an eight-minute standing ovation at its Venice Film Festival premiere on Saturday night.
Phoenix and the director of the film Todd Phillips were present at the festival when the movie got a standing ovation for the origin story they've mapped out for Batman's arch-villain, reported Variety.
Phoenix and Phillips were joined in the Sala Grande by Zazie Beetz, who also features in the psychological thriller as Phoenix's character's neighbour. Robert De Niro, who plays a talk-show host in the film, did not make it to the premiere.
Buzz in Venice about the Warner Bros. movie had been growing ever since it was unveiled last month as part of the line-up to the climax of the two press screenings and red-carpet premiere on Saturday.
Both the press screenings were completely packed, with the second one also receiving a loud round of applause at the end and cheers when Phoenix's name appeared in the closing credits. Phoenix's performance, in particular, is generating massive awards buzz.
The upcoming flick is a part of the DC Comics universe but will serve as an independent origin story and will not feature any appearances by Batman and other caped crusaders.
Opening up about his character, Phoenix said that late actor Heath Ledger, who also essayed the role of Joker in Christopher Nolan's 'The Dark Knight', did not influence him.
Ledger won an Oscar for his role in the film.
"I didn't refer to any past iteration of the character," he said. "It just felt like something that was our creation in some ways," he explained.
After Venice, 'Joker' will head to Toronto for another festival bow.
Apart from Phoenix, De Niro, and Beetz, the film also features Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais, and Shea Whigham.
The film is slated to hit the theatres on October 4.