The image below is our first early look at Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, otherwise known as the Joker. Obviously, it’s before his transformation into the Clown Prince of Crime.
He looks like a high school teacher or someone who could be your neighbor. Which is to say, Arthur doesn’t look particularly menacing—certainly not the character we’ve seen portrayed on the big (and small) screen so many times.
That’s because the movie is expected to tell the origin of the character, providing audiences with a dark look at who Arthur was before he became the Joker. When the film was first announced, it was described as an “exploration of a man disregarded by society that is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.”
Although Phoenix’s Arthur looks like any other person in the photo, he look decidedly less stable in a series of set photos, which show his character interacting with a clown.
Directed by Todd Phillips, the standalone Joker movie is expected to release sometime in 2019.