AceShowbiz - Here's the first official picture of Joaquin Phoenix's "Joker". Director Todd Phillips took to Instagram on Sunday, September 16 to share the photo featuring the Golden Globe Award-winning actor as Batman's nemesis pre-his Joker days.
Rocking unkempt wavy hair with bangs, Phoenix looks rugged as he stares directly into the camera. He sports a green jacket on top of a shirt. Phillips simply captioned it with "Arthur," referring to Joker's real name Arthur Fleck in the movie.
Production on the standalone movie has apparently begun as Phoenix was spotted on the set just hours after Phillips shared the first-look image. The "Her" star was seen filming with another actor sporting a clown makeup in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City on Sunday.
Wearing a hoodie jacket on top a brown vest and shirt while carrying a paper bag, he was seen teasing the clown by playing with his red nose. He also showed his character's maniacal laugh during the filming of the outdoor scene set at the slum area.
At one point, the clown seemed to grow impatient with Phoenix's Arthur, as the pot-bellied man was seen grabbing him by the collar.
Upon seeing the pictures, fans have become more excited to see Phoenix's performance in the Joker movie. "Just by looking in these pics you know Joaquin Phoenix is going to be amazing in the #Joker," one commented.
"This photo is both amazing and frightening. #Joker," another gushed about the actor's portrayal of the Batman villain. Another added, "Yeah, Joaquin already nailed it. #Joker." Similarly, someone else already praised Phoenix's performance as Joker, "I mean this in the nicest way possible. He looks f***ing crazy #Joker."
An origin story of the signature villain of Batman, "Joker" is dubbed a "standalone story not seen before on the big screen." It is further described as a gritty character study but also a broader cautionary tale of a man disregarded by society who becomes the ultimate supervillain.
The project is said to be separated from the DC Extended Universe, thus it will not interfere with Jared Leto's portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime in a potential "Suicide Squad" sequel and planned spin-offs.
Phoenix said after his casting in the movie was confirmed in July, "I take a lot of time and consideration when making decisions and what I'm gonna work on." He went on telling Collider, "It feels unique, it is its own world in some ways, and maybe, mostly, it scares the f**k s**t out of me, or something." He added that the upcoming movie "might as well be the thing that scares you the most."
Robert De Niro, Frances Conroy, Zazie Beetz and Marc Maron will also star in the movie. Alec Baldwin was initially cast as Bruce Wayne's father before dropping out of the project due to "scheduling" issues.
Todd Phillips also wrote the script, in addition to serving as producer along with Martin Scorsese and Emma Tillinger Koskoff. The DC-Warner Bros. movie is scheduled for an October 4, 2019 release in the United States.