Since the announcement of Joaquin Phoenix as the new Joker in an upcoming film dedicated solely to the titular character, audience reaction has ranged from excited to disappointed. Recently, filmmakers released a deeply unsettling teaser showing Phoenix in full makeup and wielding a blade that reflected his unpainted face.
According to a report from ComicBook, a pair of set photos were released to the public on Sunday, showing Joaquin Phoenix taking a fall, then wincing in pain and holding his leg. The photo also revealed Brett Cullen as Thomas Wayne, the father of Bruce Wayne.
As for the movie itself, the report added that it’s still in production and on schedule. A number of reports have surfaced about extras being locked in rooms and denied access to restrooms, which has led to some controversy.
Joaquin Phoenix has expressed that this movie shouldn’t be considered a comic book movie, as he’s taking it as a role like any other. It will also be fully separated from any other incarnation of The Joker, including that of Cesar Romero in the original Batman series, Mark Hamill’s voice on Batman: The Animated Series, Jack Nicholson’s Joker in Tim Burton’s Batman, and Heath Ledger’s Academy Award-winning performance of the iconic character in The Dark Knight. And perhaps most importantly, it will be completely removed from Jared Leto’s attempt at playing The Joker in Suicide Squad.
This will be Joaquin Phoenix’s very own Joker and also will apparently not be a superhero movie at all, according to the actor.
“I wouldn’t quite classify this as like any genre. I wouldn’t say it’s a superhero movie, or a studio movie or a … It feels unique, and I think more than anything, and probably the most important thing, is [director Todd Phillips] 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.”
Joker will also feature Marc Maron (Maron, GLOW) in the film, alongside Robert De Niro (Goodfellas, Taxi Driver), Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2), and Frances Conroy (American Horror Story).