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Todd Phillips, director of the upcoming, as-yet-untitled Joker origin film, has revealed a first look at star Joaquin Phoenix, before he becomes the infamous Batman villain.

Phillips captioned the image with just “Arthur,” evidently this iteration of the Joker’s name before he took on his mononym.

The film, directed by Todd Phillips, is an “exploration of a man disregarded by society that is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.” Scott Silver co-wrote the script with Phillips.

Robert De Niro is in talks to join the film, as a talk-show host who plays a part in driving Phoenix’s character to go mad and become the Clown Prince of Crime. According to insiders, the script has ties to De Niro’s film “King of Comedy,” about a failing comedian (De Niro) who kidnaps a popular talk-show host to gain fame. In this case, the roles would be reversed, with De Niro playing the smug host. Zazie Beetz and Marc Maron are also starring.

Warner Bros. has stressed that the Phoenix Joker pic will have no effect on its DC Universe, in which Jared Leto plays the Joker, most recently in “Suicide Squad.” Warner Bros. is also developing a standalone Joker film that will operate within the DC Universe and star Leto.

The Phoenix movie is scheduled to hit theaters Oct. 4, 2019.

See the first look image below.

View this post on Instagram

Arthur.

A post shared by Todd Phillips (@toddphillips1) on

Related: Kevin Smith Says ‘Joker’ Movies Could Save DC

10 responses to “First Look at Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker”

  1. Stephen A Eiland says:

    More ‘joke’ than ‘Joker’

  2. shinobi says:

    Is he playing the Joker, or is he playing a young De Niro?

  3. Valeska says:

    He looks more like Frank Gallagher. Not being funny like. Get Cameron Monagahn in! His portrayal of a Joker is what the world needs!

  4. Chris says:

    How many times you going to do batman vs the joker

  5. Chachi says:

    Hes probably the only actor in Hollywood who has a pretty face but also has inner turmoil and character that fulfils the parts he plays better than others. Closest thing we got to a jack Nicholson or Marlon Brando of these times where individuality is not rewarded anymore as is conformity of thought and political opinion.

  6. Halima says:

    I am so happy that Jared Leto will still be playing The Joker in more films to come.He was so intense,with those dead eyes and blank to crazy face in seconds.How does one act “dead eyes”,Jared Leto does! He is absolutely gifted and freaking scary.Love him.When is Suicide Squad 2 coming out?!

  7. Donna says:

    Leave DeNiro at the door. Phoenix can carry the. FILm without him!.

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  9. Timely Comment says:

    Funny that Kevin Smith is optimistic about Todd Phillip’s JOKER movie when his Clown Prince of Crime is rumored to be named “Arthur Fleck”— the Batman nemesis is “A. Fleck”… AFFLECK…

    As in pal Ben Affleck, the soon-to-be-former Dark Knight for the DC Films Universe?

    But I suppose that’s REQUIRED for a geek shill for Detective Comics to say such hopeful spiel in order to get his fans to see Phillip’s movie version of the character? Gotta guarantee those CW directing gigs to continue in the future…

    /the DCFU™

  10. Joslin says:

    Old “young” Joker. He looks at 55!