The first official image of Joaquin Phoenix as The Joker has been revealed, as he prepares to play the iconic Batman villain in a new origins movie.
The photo, posted by director Todd Phillips, shows Phoenix in a green jacket and with long hair. However, he’s entirely free of the elaborate make-up that the character usually sports.
Phillips also captioned the photo “Arthur”, which seemingly confirms widespread rumours that the character’s real name is Arthur Fleck.
The film, simply titled Joker, is set for release on October 4 2019. It’ll see Phillips joining forces with 8 Mile scribe Scott Silver for an “exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.”
As well as Phoenix, the film will also star Robert DeNiro as a talk show host who plays an instrumental role in the Joker’s development. Other major players include Zazie Beetz, who stars as a single mother who becomes mysteriously involved with the Joker.
Last month, Phoenix directly responded to critics who hit out at his forthcoming portrayal of the character.
His detractors have repeatedly questioned whether he was suitable for the role, while others wondered how his role would work when a standalone Joker film with Jared Leto is also believed to be in the works.
“I don’t really think that much about what people think,” he curtly explained to IndieWire.
“Who cares, who cares?”