A set video from Joker reveals Joaquin Phoenix in character. A DC Comics adaptation set in the ’80s (like next year’s Wonder Woman 1984), the film finally gives one of the most iconic DC villains his own origin story on the big screen. Directed by The Hangover‘s Todd Phillips from a script he co-wrote with Scott Silver (The Fighter), Joker will follow the earlier pursuits of the future Clown Prince of Crime back when he was known as simply Arthur. Unlike many comic book films nowadays, Joker is (supposedly) a one-off movie and will not be connected to the existing DC film universe. Rather, it will launch a brand new banner for DC Films that may be called DC Dark (or DC Black).
Plot details for Joker are still being kept under wraps, but Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, and Marc Maron have all joined the film’s cast by this point (in as-yet unspecified roles). Meanwhile, the role of Thomas Wayne remains up for grabs after Alec Baldwin became attached to play the character, only to drop out shortly after news of his casting broke. As scheduled, principal photography has already started with a new set video emerging online giving fans an early look at the film.
Following the release of the first official image of Phoenix in Joker, Twitter user JNAPIER posted a video taken from the film’s set. Featuring a noticeably thin Phoenix, the clip shows him in civilian clothes, carrying a brown paper bag and storming out of a building, followed by a man dressed as a clown. The two seem to get in a heated argument, before Arthur then starts laughing at the clown, walks up to him, grabs his fake nose, throws it away and begins running in the opposite direction. Watch the video below.
— ᴊᴀᴄᴋ (@JNapierrr) September 17, 2018
Not much can be deciphered from the set video plot-wise, but it may has something to do with Phoenix’s character struggling to become a successful comedian. Regardless, it does offer an idea of what kind of person Arthur is before he becomes the Clown Prince of Crime. He even shows hints of the Joker’s mannerisms as he mockingly laughs at the clown in this video. The idea seems to be that Arthur will start out being sane at the beginning of Joker, then slowly transform into the titular super-villain after a run of bad luck and traumatic experiences, coupled with one final (and tragic) incident that finally pushes him over the edge completely.
However Phillips decides to approach things here, he has a good deal of creative freedom when it comes to crafting a backstory for the Joker on the big screen. One fan theory even goes so far as to posit that Joker and Batman will have the same biological father, Thomas Wayne, in the film. If accurate (and that’s a big if for now), this would be a pretty bold move – one that truly changes the dynamic between the Caped Crusader and the Clown Prince of Crime. Either way, it seems Joker will play fast and loose with many classic elements of the Batman mythos (his father Thomas Wayne included).