With green hair and a clown-like smile, the Joker is easily one of Batman’s most recognisable villains, and there have been many adaptations of the Clown Prince of Crime, from Jack Nicholson’s comedic interpretation in Batman (1989) to Jared Leto’s mobster kingpin in Suicide Squad (2016). Now, there’s a new Joker in Gotham City.
Directed by Todd Phillips, the untitled film will centre on the origins of the villainous jokester, with Joaquin Phoenix taking up the mantle. In this film—which is set in the 80s—Joaquin will play the Joker as a failed comedian who succumbs to a life of crime. Robert de Niro is also rumoured to have a role in the film as a talk-show host.
In a recent Instagram post, Phillips released how the Joker will look before his transformation, with the simple caption of ‘Arthur’; no doubt the first name of the Joker’s alter-ego. Joaquin looks gaunt in the photo, and almost sickly, which is a far cry from Leto’s lean and muscled physique.
Furthermore, the film will be an ‘exploration of a man disregarded by society that is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale,’ which will add a layer of humanity to the Joker, something that has not been explored in previous adaptations of the comic book villain. Consequently, the film will also echo the trajectory of superhero movies in the 21st century: heroes and villains are more fleshed out with characteristics that are relatable and understandable to the general audience.
Are you excited by the new Joker?