Todd Phillips Releases First Photo of Joaquin Phoenix in ‘Joker’

Though it’s still really tough to believe that Joaquin Phoenix is starring in a Todd Phillips-directed Joker origin movie called Joker, it’s happening whether it’s a good idea or not. While I personally hoped it was just rumors, it’s now currently in the middle of principal photography in New York City.

I’m not quite sure what WB is planning with these movies, but they will have my money and my presence in the movie theatre when this film finally makes it to the silver screen. However, in the meantime, we have our first look at Joaquin Phoenix in the role of… Arthur Fleck. He’s not the Joker yet, but he will be at some point in the movie… at least, I hope so.

The Hangover director posted to Instagram a nice picture from a professional photo shoot. Check it out below:


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If Joaquin Phoenix didn’t happen to be playing the man that would become the Joker, this photo would mean nothing to me. There’s really nothing interesting or spectacular to find in this photo, but a man who’s hit some hard times. Phoenix is somewhat disheveled, poorly groomed, and a bit gaunt. The man has certainly lost weight for this role, which makes sense considering Joker has always been on the thin side.

I speculate that Phillips posted this photo in response to the paparazzi footage that went up earlier today. While filming a scene in NYC, Phoenix was spotted wearing this exact ensemble. Footage and photos surfaced online of the actor confronting a children’s party clown. If you do a quick search, you’ll find the footage yourself.

The scene is a little ham-fisted nod to Fleck’s eventual fate, but what I did like about the footage was the fact that in the background, you can see a large wall of a building adorned with much graffiti, reading “Amusement Mile.”  If you know your Gotham, Amusement Mile is a rundown section of Gotham City where an old abandoned amusement park remains. In several incarnations, the Joker takes residence at this amusement park.

Well, what do you think? Is this photo helping increase anticipation? Are you excited to see Joaquin Phoenix embody the Clown Prince of Crime? Let me know.

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