Todd Phillips Shares Cryptic new Image of Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker

What little we know about Todd Phillips’ Joker we owe to the writer/director himself. We know that Joker is currently being edited thanks to Phillips’ Instagram page—we also have a new look at Joaquin Phoenix in the title role. Phoenix’s take on arguably the most iconic supervillain will be worth the price of admission alone.

The new photo appears to show Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck before he becomes the Clown Prince of chaos. It’s a stately image, with Fleck in profile in black and white. The clothes and the scenery almost make this look like a British period piece drama. A large vase filled with flowers and what appear to be porcelain busts and figurines in a glass-encased dresser complete the look. But note the bullet hole in the wall above Fleck’s head. Clock the intensity of Fleck’s gaze. It looks more like an image from a gangster film than a supervillain flick. This is in keeping with Phillips’ stated interest of giving the Joker a gritty origin story.

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The above photo gives us a slightly slicker version of Fleck’s character. The first time Phillips’ shared an image of Fleck he looked like a normal sad sack. Phillips’ Joker is going to be both an origin story and a character study. Keep in mind that Martin Scorsese is on hand as a producer, and the legendary director’s The King of Comedy and Taxi Driver serve as touchstones. It’s also not for nothing that the star of both of those films—Robert De Niro—is in Joker as well.

Phillips’ Joker exists outside of the larger DCEU. We know the film is set in the 1970s, and that Arthur Fleck is a failed comedian who goes off the deep end. The images we’ve seen thus far, both of Phoenix and his co-star Zazie Beetz, have looked intriguingly down-to-earth. One of the great things about Joker thus far is that we really don’t know what to expect. The cast is stellar, the character is iconic, and Phillips’ has kept just about everything else extremely quiet. If it weren’t for the photos he’s shared, we’d know next to nothing.

Joker is due in theaters on October 4, 2019. Joining Phoenix, Beetz and De Niro are Marc Maron, Shea Whigham, Glenn Flesher, and Bill Camp.

Featured image: Caption: JOAQUIN PHOENIX as Arthur Fleck in “Joker,” from Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures, and BRON Creative. A Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Nikos Tavernise


Bryan Abrams

Bryan Abrams is the Editor-in-chief of The Credits. He's run the site since its launch in 2012. He lives in New York.