For months, there were only rumours of the Joker standalone movie, and now director Todd Phillips is teasing the movie with new photos almost every other day. The latest photo shows Joaquin Phoenix in full circus clown makeup, sitting on what looks like stage equipment and looking sideways at the camera with a sad smile.
So far, Phillips has released three looks of Phoenix’s Joker. The first one showed the closeup of Phoenix, visibly haggard with long hair and no makeup. The second look was a test video that showed Phoenix’s face painted with red and white colours. Many set photos also surfaced on the internet. TMZ also posted a video of Phoenix’s Joker causing mayhem in a subway station.
The latest look is the most intriguing since it depicts Phoenix as an actual performing clown in a circus. Was he a circus clown before he became insane? It also shows what may be the softer side of the famed DC villain. We know this is an origin story, so how the Clown Prince of Crime came to be will make a large part of the story. The film proposes that before the Joker became a criminal mastermind, he was a comedian who failed at his job.
Alan Moore talked of the one bad day in his groundbreaking graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke. The Joker says in the graphic novel, “All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That’s how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day.”
The story is similar to The Killing Joke, but Todd Phillips’ film is said to be more inspired by Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver starring Robert De Niro. Incidentally, Scorsese is an executive producer of the film and De Niro plays a talk show host who is somehow instrumental in Arthur Fleck (the real name of Joker in the film) becoming the Joker.