Just five days ago, director Todd Phillips revealed the first photo of Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck from his upcoming Joker film. In the Instagram post, fans got a look at a stoic Phoenix peering into the camera who looked like your everyday man. Now, in a new video that Todd has shared, fans are getting a more creepy glimpse of Arthur as he transforms into the Joker right before their very eyes.
In the Instagram post, which Phillips described as a screen test, the camera slowly pans in on Phoenix’s face as images of a clown begin to cover his face. By the end of the 30-second clip, the actor is covered in full clown make-up and looks noticeably different than other actors who have portrayed the villain before. Playing in the background of the video is “Laughing” by The Guess Who, which perfectly leads into a smile from the Joker himself which some found quite eerie.
Phoenix’s Joker appears to have the most normal clown makeup fans have seen on the character in years, and is not as messy as Heath Ledger’s, or as edgy as Jared Leto’s. This version of the Joker is said to be a failed comedian who takes rejection a bit too personally and becomes the villain the DC world knows and somewhat loves.
The overall plot of Joker is being kept under wraps, but is rumored to be an origin story of the Gotham villain. The Joker character has always been developed in the film’s fans know him for, and little is known of his beginning. Phillips’ Joker stands entirely on its own and is not a part DC Extended Universe. According to Screen Rant, Joker is in a line of productions known as the “Elseworlds” which Warner Bros. and DC have formed to showcase non-franchised films. The DC Extended Universe currently boasts Jared Leto as the Crown Prince of Crime and will not be associated with Phoenix’s character.
Leto currently has three Joker projects in the works with Warner Bros., including his own standalone film. The actor will also appear in the upcoming Suicide Squad 2, as well as a Joker and Harley Quinn standalone project. All three of the films are classified as “announced” and have no release dates at this time.
Joker will debut on October 4, 2019. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais, and Shea Whigham.