Why So Sad? Our First Look At Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker

Articles, Pop CultureBrandon MarcusComment

Well folks, here it is: our first true look at Joaquin Phoenix as The Joker in Todd Phillips’s Joker. This tease comes to us courtesy of Phillips’s Instagram account and definitely sets a tone that I hope is replicated in the final film, due next year. Here, take a look at the Clown Prince of Crime:


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Camera test (w/ sound). Joker.

A post shared by Todd Phillips (@toddphillips1) on


My first instinct is to turn away from this entire project. A movie about The Joker’s origins, from the man who brought us The Hangover and Due Date? Is this really necessary? No, not really but is any movie really necessary? Let’s be honest, it was only a matter of time until we got a Joker film. One day every comic book character will get their own film, that’s just the way the world is. So if we must have a Joker movie then I have to say I’m becoming increasingly excited about this one.

Joaquin Phoenix is no (wait for it) joke when it comes to acting, the man has proven himself again and again. And the rest of this cast (De Niro, Shea Whigham, Marc Maron, Frances Conroy) is stacked like a deck of cards. While I’m no huge fan of Phillips, this little Instagram clip is impressive, artistic and feels at home in maybe a Scorsese film. Then there is that face Phoenix makes at the end, a face of torment and inner-sadness. Yes, comic book movies can be be too self-serious and, yes, we don’t really need to see the turmoil that led to The Joker just like we don’t need to see why Jaws wanted to eat all those humans. However, I’m not going to lie: I think I’m kind of sold.

Like I said, my immediate knee-jerk reaction is “No! Absolutely not! We don’t need a Joker origin film!” But once I get past that and honestly judge what we have heard and now seen from this project, I will gladly admit that I’m on board. No joke.

Joker opens October 4, 2019.