Last week, Joker director Todd Phillips teased audiences with a glimpse of Joaquin Phoenix in full makeup as the Clown Prince of Crime in a Joker origin story. Given that the Suicide Squad version of the character will be continued by Jared Leto in another standalone film, the subject continues to be confusing. And even though Phoenix’s mad grin is somewhat unsettling, it’s still nothing like the shambolic supervillain that was perhaps crystallized in fans’ minds by Heath Ledger. Anyhoodle, Phillips has now posted a look at Zazie Beetz — who first attracted attention in FX’s Atlanta and became a household name after playing lucky Domino in Deadpool 2 — as her character. Take a look.
Not very revealing, right? Beetz is playing Sophie Dumond, a single mother and love interest of Phoenix’s pre-Joker character, Arthur. According to Deadline, Phillips is releasing these photos because he’s frustrated over the paparazzi images surfacing from the set. “It bums me out that they constantly put out their bad shots,” he explained. “So I figure, may as well put out some good ones.”
Phillips does have a point. Photos from the New York City set (where it’s nearly impossible to seal up shop) are appearing on celebrity-cenric sites, as has a low-quality video of subway mayhem by this Joker. These postings probably don’t do much to communicate Phillips’ vision as director, but it’s also difficult to interpret his intent with the images he’s releasing. His first look at Phoenix’s character showed a very average and downcast fellow, and Beetz looks similarly downtrodden. Will audiences get excited for a potentially depressing Joker standalone film? Perhaps a different vibe will land with trailers, but their arrival is probably still several months away.
Joker is currently scheduled to hit theaters on October 4, 2019.