DC fans are exploding with excitement at the first official look at the latest big screen Joker.
Although the most recent incarnation was Jared Leto’s scene-steling turn in Suicide Squad, it’s impossible not to see more similarities with probably the most iconic version of all time.
As Phoenix’s shabby middle-aged man in a brown raincoat starts to flicker, the face paint of his evil alter-ego appears superimposed before the full transformation is revealed.
The actor’s mocking smile at the end of the short video is a tantalising hint of what to come and certainly calls to mind Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning performance.
Phoenix has big shoes to fill for one of the most iconic big screen villains of all time. He follows the 1960s Batman television series Cesar Romero version and Jack Nicholson’s OTT turn in Batman. Heath Ledger stole every scene in The Dark Knight (2008) before Jared Leto’s Suicide Squad performance divided fans.
The short clip revealed today confirms Ledger will be playing an unsuccessful comedian who somehow becomes the maniacal grinning criminal mastermind. It has also somewhat divided the fanbase.
One wrote: “Breathe. Its a camera test. Not a final look. Painting his face like a clown? Nope. Sorry. I hope this is a Mark 1 Joker and something happens to him like, I don’t know, him falling into chemicals like “Killing Joke”. Not a fan of this if that’s the look.”
Other added comments like: “Forgive me, but holy sh** that looks incredible.”
Another exclaimed: “Bruuuuuuuh, this screams Cesar Romero and Heath Ledger. Sign me all the way tf up. The music, the background visuals, the creepy smile? INFLUENTIAL.”
And the Ledger comparisions continued, even if one excited fan muddled up the name a little: “Looks pretty good! Very similar to Keith Ledger though.”
One thing is sure, this won’t be like any previous DC Warner Bros movie.
The budget alone is a fraction of the usual bloated blockbusters, coming in at a lean and mean £42 million ($55 million), compared to the previous ‘cheapest’ movie Wonder Woman on
£113.5 million ($149 million).
Few plot details are known, except the official synopsis that the movie will “centre on how the popular comic book villain known as The Joker came to be.”
Set sometime in the 1980s, the Joker movie will reinvent the legend. This time, his origins have ebeen attributed as Arthur Fleck, “a comedian down on his luck.”
The indie and artistic credibility of the project is boosted by Todd Phillips as the director and co-screenwriter, with Martin Scorcese as producer.
The Joker is out in the US on October 4, 2019. No UK date has been announced.