Comparing Joaquin Phoenix's Joker To The Ones We Know And Love

'Joker' is due to hit theaters a year from now.

Comparing Joaquin Phoenix's Joker To The Ones We Know And Love
Todd Phillips Instagram | Warner Bros.

We knew Joaquin Phoenix was confirmed to play The Joker in a new standalone DC movie next year. What we didn't know was what the character would look like. Now, we do... probably... mostly.

Joker director Todd Phillips (Old School, The Hangover) took to Instagram today to release the first screen test of Phoenix in character as Arthur Fleck, the man who becomes the DC Comics supervillain. Take a look below, the music is appropriate — "Laughing" by The Guess Who. 

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Camera test (w/ sound). Joker.

A post shared by Todd Phillips (@toddphillips1) on

Time will tell how close this test comes to the movie's actual vision. I'm guessing we'll see a more impressive makeup job when it comes time to shoot this thing. But the footage is interesting. The sloppy clown makeup could also be a first act version of the character before Fleck morphs into the full Joker. It seems inspired by Pagliacci and by John Wayne Gacy, but all Jokers take their cues from Cesar Romero's original in some way. 

Here's how it compares to the Jokers we know and love (not Leto):

Cesar Romero Batman (TV)(1966)
Cesar Romero Batman (TV)(1966)
Jack Nicholson Batman (1989)
 
 
 
Jack Nicholson Batman (1989)      
Heath Ledger The Dark Knight (2008)
 
 
 
Heath Ledger The Dark Knight (2008)      
Jared Leto Suicide Squad (2016)
Jared Leto Suicide Squad (2016)
Joaquin Phoenix Joker (2019)
Joaquin Phoenix Joker (2019)

Phillips's movie will be an origin story so it stands to reason the villain will evolve. Comic book characters typically go through beta versions of their costumes initially. See: Spider-Man: Homecoming, most recently. 

It'll be hard for anyone to top Ledger's Oscar-winning Joker performance but Warner Brothers seems intent on trying. Jared Leto and Suicide Squad were a washout so Phoenix is their next big bet. He certainly has the talent. Let's hope he has the script.

Here's the official synopsis for Joker via Warner Brothers:

'Joker' centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck (Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.

Joker is set for release October 4, 2019. It also stars Zazie Beets, Marc Maron, Bill Camp, Shea Whigham, Douglas Hodge, Josh Pais, and Brett Cullen.

(Images via Warner Bros. and ABC)

Senior Editor at Zimbio. I'll take Johnny Clay, the Rev. Harry Powell, and Annie Savoy. You can have the rest.
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