Joker First Look: Joaquin Phoenix as 'Arthur' in Origin Movie

Joker First Look: Joaquin Phoenix as 'Arthur' in Origin Movie

Photo Credit: Alison Cohen Rosa/Amazon Studios, DC Comics

(Inset) Joaquin Phoenix in You Were Never Really Here

  • Joker is slated to release October 2019
  • First look at Phoenix in character
  • The Joker's real name will likely be Arthur

The Joker origin movie got its first look on Sunday, thanks to director Todd Phillips sharing an image on Instagram of lead star Joaquin Phoenix as the character before his transformation. Phillips captioned the picture as “Arthur”, which suggests that will be the real name of the Joker in the film. The famous DC character is known for dressing in shades of purple and having green hair – Phoenix’s clothes in the picture have shades of green, for what it’s worth – though whether that will be applicable to this version remains to be seen.

Arthur will be a new alias for the character, who has mostly gone unnamed in most comics and video adaptations. One of the few exceptions was Tim Burton’s Batman, in which Jack Nicholson’s Joker was named Jack Napier. That name has since been used in a couple of comic book series. Though Phoenix’s Joker is set to offer a new take on the character, he will undoubtedly be compared to both Nicholson and the late Heath Ledger, who won a posthumous Oscar for his role in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.



A post shared by Todd Phillips (@toddphillips1) on

Warner Bros. has previously described the film as "a gritty character study but also a broader cautionary tale of a man disregarded by society who becomes the ultimate supervillain". It is said to be partly based on Alan Moore’s 1988 graphic novel “The Killing Joke”, in which an unnamed engineer who fails as a stand-up comedian, turns to a life of crime in desperation, and transforms into the villain we know him during a heist gone wrong.

Filming began last week on September 10. In addition to Phoenix, the Joker movie also stars Robert De Niro, Frances Conroy, Deadpool 2’s Zazie Beetz, and GLOW star Marc Maron. The film has no connection to the existing DC film universe, which includes Justice League, Wonder Woman, and others.

Joker is slated to release October 4, 2019. The DC film universe, meanwhile, continues with Aquaman in December, Shazam! in April 2019, and Wonder Woman 1984 in November 2019.


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Further reading: Joker, The Joker, Warner Bros, DC Comics
Akhil Arora
Akhil Arora covers entertainment for Gadgets 360, interviewing stars such as Christian Bale and Anurag Kashyap, covering series premieres, product and service launches across the globe, and looking at American blockbusters and Indian dramas from a global socio-political and feminist perspective. As a Rotten Tomatoes-certified film critic, Akhil has reviewed over 150 movies and TV shows in over half a decade at Gadgets 360. When he is not completely caught up with new film and TV releases, Akhil ...More
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