Following Joker director Todd Phillips’ just-released first official photo from the film, a Reddit user has re-imagined star Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur with the chalk white skin and green hair typically associated with the character.
FANMADE: Hey everyone - made a quick mashup of what our joker could look like using Todd Phillips' newly released photo! Can't wait! from r/DC_Cinematic
Reddit user cameron_w_robertson created the “quick mashup,” transforming Arthur into the Clown Prince of Crime.
Joker will re-imagine the world of Batman as an ‘80s crime film with a dark and gritty tone. Standing separate from the DC Extended Universe — home to Ben Affleck’s Batman and Jared Leto’s Joker — the film reportedly adapts the famed Alan Moore-scripted The Killing Joke, which acted as a sort-of origin tale for Batman’s future arch enemy, who in that continuity was a down-on-his-luck failed comedian.
Phillips’ spin on the iconic character is said to borrow inspiration from Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, and is rumored to reveal the character was tormented in his youth.
“It’s dark. It’s like a dark Joker. As a kid, he had a permanent smile and everyone made fun of him. It’s like on the streets of Brooklyn. It’s super dark and real,” said former MMA fighter Brendan Schuab, who is friends with Phillips’ agent Todd Feldman.
Plot details are being kept under wraps, but the film is said to heavily feature Thomas Wayne — father of future Batman Bruce Wayne — who is famously gunned down alongside his wife Martha on Gotham City’s crime-ridden streets. Two weeks ago, Alec Baldwin was briefly attached to the role before backing out.
The since-vacated role has yet to be filled as filming is now underway. Baldwin’s replacement will join a cast that includes Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2) as downtrodden single mother Sophie Dumond, and Marc Maron (GLOW), Frances Conroy (American Horror Story) and Robert De Niro (The Godfather: Part II) in unannounced roles.
Phoenix characterized the standalone Joker as not belonging to any specific genre, saying the film doesn’t fit into the scope of a superhero movie or a studio movie.
“It feels unique, and I think more than anything, and probably the most important thing, is Todd seems very passionate about it and very giving, and so that’s exciting,” Phoenix said.
“I think, underneath the excitement of these films, and the size of them, there are these incredible characters that are dealing with real life struggles. And sometimes that is uncovered and exposed, and sometimes it isn’t, and so I always felt, like, there were characters in comics that were really interesting and deserve the opportunity to be kind of studied. And so I think that’s what Todd sees appealing about this idea.”
Joker is now filming for an October 4, 2019 release.