Movies & TV

We Finally Have Our First Look At Joaquin Phoenix's Joker (And It's Not What You'd Expect)

He's gone in a different direction to Jared Leto, that's for sure
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We finally have our first look at Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker in Todd Phillip’s standalone film, and it’s not quite what we expected.

Rumors have long suggested it will be an origin story, and that made of a lot of sense. We’ve never seen the Joker’s beginnings play out on the big screen, at least not in full, and we really can’t imagine Phoenix tolerating 5-hour make-up sessions every morning.

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Still, we didn’t expect his Joker to be quite so stripped back. Comparisons have been made to Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men, and even Lord Farquaad of Shrekfame. We think he looks like a veteran folk singer who’s about to release an album of maudlin Bhad Bhabie covers, but that’s just us.

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Phillips also revealed the name of the character before he became the Joker: Arthur.

There’s never been a definitive backstory for the Clown Prince of Crime in the comics, so it’s not yet known if Phillips (The Hangover trilogy) and his co-writer Scott Silver (The Fighter) will stick rigidly to one, or pull together elements of different origin stories.

The movie will be a character study and a cautionary tale of "a man disregarded by society who becomes the ultimate supervillain," according to Deadline.

This is all not to say that Warner Bros. has pulled the plug of Jared Leto’s standalone Joker movie, inspired by his Suicide Squad portrayal. It doesn’t have a release date yet, though, so it’s unlikely to appear before Phoenix’s take on 4 October, 2019.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.ukMinor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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