Say hello to Arthur, everybody.
A few months after Joaquin Phoenix's casting in the upcoming gritty origin story about Batman's archenemy, the Joker, became official, Joker director Todd Phillips has finally shared a glimpse of the Oscar nominated actor in character. The caption simply reads "Arthur," which will apparently be this version of the villain's name before he adopted his infamous mononym.
According to the studio, Joker's story will pick up with the character in Gotham City in the early 1980s prior to his life as a criminal mastermind, resulting in an "exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale." The Hollywood Reporter also revealed in August 2017 that the project's budget is around $55 million, which is noticeably lower than other tentpoles in the genre, and fans can expect the stand-alone to be tonally similar to a crime drama. It will also have no bearing on Jared Leto's Joker movie or his iteration of the villain.
Phoenix will appear in the film alongside Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, and Marc Maron, as well as Robert De Niro, who is reportedly in talks to join the cast as a talk show host who has a hand in driving Arthur towards a life of crime.