Ridley Scott has made no secret of the fact that he was impressed by Joaquin Phoenix‘s performance in “Joker.” But the “Blade Runner” director doesn’t necessarily endorse all of the film’s contents.

In a new interview with Deadline, Scott reiterated that he was inspired to cast Phoenix in his upcoming biopic “Napoleon” after watching his Oscar-winning performance in Todd Phillips’ DC origin story. But he added that he didn’t like what he saw as the film‘s glorification of violence.

“I was blown away by his outrageous film ‘Joker,’” Scott said. “I didn’t like the way it celebrated violence but Joaquin was remarkable. I thought he’d be an amazing asset to ‘Napoleon,’ [not only creatively] also in a commercial sense. There were only two actors I had in mind for the role. I won’t mention the other one.”

Scott has clearly spent a lot of time thinking about “Joker.” In a July interview with Empire magazine, the director said that Phoenix’s demonic performance in the film made him realize that the “Gladiator” star was the perfect man to play the French general-turned-emperor.

“I’m staring at Joaquin and saying, ‘This little demon is Napoleon Bonaparte.’ He looks like him,” Scott said before offering his analysis of the real Bonaparte. “I compare him with Alexander the Great. Adolf Hitler. Stalin. Listen, he’s got a lot of bad shit under his belt. At the same time, he was remarkable with his courage, and in his can-do and in his dominance. He was extraordinary.”

“Napoleon” is one of the most anticipated films of the fall season, but an epic of that size can’t rely entirely on the performance of one actor. In another recent interview, Scott spoke about his team of artisans and consultants who helped him recreate 19th century France with meticulous period accuracy.

“I can read all the books in the world on him, but instead, because the film is such a large event, I rely on my very good team,” he said. “My team does marvelous military costumes like I’ve never seen before. The costumes are mind-blowing, and then I have a military expert for cause-and-effect battle sequences. That’s all coordinated. I plan it, in a funny kind of way, a little bit like a battle.” 

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