Joaquin Phoenix's Joker Look Possibly Influenced by 'The Dark Knight' and '60s 'Batman' TV Show

Warner Bros. is making a surprising comic book movie that's bolstered by some major A-list talent, as Joaquin Phoenix becomes the next person to take on the mantle of the Clown Prince of Crime in DC Comics' The Joker.

As the movie films in New York City, plenty of set photos have come out showing Phoenix as the agent of chaos, and while he has the green hair and purple suit locked down, he still has a very different look in his face paint that many fans might not be used to.

But there's a precedent for Joker's look, apparently, as the character has a very similar appearance to one of the bank robbers from the opening sequence from the film. Check out the concept art below.

OBSERVATION: This Dark knight concept art is pretty interesting wonder if it had any influence? What do you guys think? from r/DC_Cinematic

In case you don't recognize it, this concept art is from Christopher Nolan's film The Dark Knight, which began with the Joker in disguise among a group of goons as they robbed a bank. While they all wear similar looking clown masks, Ledger's mask wore something very similar in appearance to the concept art.

It's also interesting because this version of the Joker has roots in the character's past, going all the way back to an episode of the Batman TV series from the '60s. In the show, Cesar Romero's version of the Joker dons a rubber mask very similar to what Heath Ledger wears in The Dark Knight.

Some fans were surprised when it was revealed Warner Bros. wanted to make a Joker movie, and were even more surprised that Joaquin Phoenix signed on to the lead role. But Phoenix himself downplayed the movie as being a superhero movie, praising the script and vision of director Todd Phillips as the reason why he joined the project.

“I wouldn’t quite classify this as like any genre," Phoenix said in a recent interview. "I wouldn’t say it’s a superhero movie, or a studio movie or a … It feels unique, and I think more then anything, and probably the most important thing, is Todd seems very passionate about it and very giving, and so that’s exciting.


"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."

The Joker premieres in theaters on October 4, 2019.