Joker director Todd Phillips has shared a short video that features "Arthur," Joaquin Phoenix's character from Joker, in clown makeup and brandishing a wicked smile.
You can check it out above.
The film is expected to be a Taxi Driver-esque, standalone, origin story for the character, where he turns to a life of villainy after failing as a stand-up comedian. Joker is being executive produced by Martin Scorsese, and will also star Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, and Marc Maron.
“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."
And as it turns out, Phoenix has had that sort of idea kicking around in his head for quite some time.
“Three or four years ago, I called my agent and said ‘Why don’t they want to take one of these characters and just make a lower budget film about it, a movie but a character study, and why not take one of the villains?’" Phoenix revealed in a recent interview. "And I thought, ‘You can’t do the Joker, because, you know, it’s just you can’t do that character, it’s just been done.’ So I was trying to think of other characters, and he said ‘I’ll set up a general meeting with Warner Bros.’ And I said ‘I’m not gonna go, I can’t go to a general meeting.’ So I completely forgot about it, and so then I heard about this idea, I was like, ‘Oh that’s so exciting, that’s the kind of experience I wanted to have, with a movie based on a comic character.’ I felt like you could get something on screen."
What do you think of this first look at Joaquin Phoenix in Joker? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Joker is expected to debut in theaters on October 4, 2019. Upcoming DC Extended Universe films include Aquaman on December 21st, Shazam on April 5, 2019, and Wonder Woman 2 on November 1, 2019.