Joaquin Phoenix Comes to Life as The Joker on Set of the Origin Movie

Joaquin-Phoenix-filming-the-joker
Joaquin Phoenix films as The Joker on September 16, 2018. SteveSands/NewYorkNewswire/MEGA TheMegaAgency.com

Why so serious? Joaquin Phoenix was spotted filming as The Joker for the first time.

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The actor, 43, debuted his character from the upcoming origin movie while on set in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City on Sunday, September 16. He appeared to be working on an early scene as he had not yet fully transformed into the terrifying, makeup-wearing Batman villain.

Instead, Phoenix wore a tan jacket over a rust-colored cardigan, a white button-down shirt and dark pants. He was seen laughing in a maniacal way while honking a clown’s nose.

Joaquin-Phoenix-filming-the-joker
Joaquin Phoenix films as The Joker on September 16, 2018. SteveSands/NewYorkNewswire/MEGA TheMegaAgency.com

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Director Todd Phillips also shared a first-look photo of the Oscar nominee in costume on his Instagram account on Sunday. In the caption, he confirmed rumors that the character’s real name will be Arthur Fleck.

The as-yet-untitled film will follow the origin of The Joker as he becomes a criminal mastermind and Batman’s most notorious enemy. The villain was previously portrayed by Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and Jared Leto.

The cast also includes Robert De Niro, Frances Conroy, Marc Maron and Zazie Beetz.

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“It feels unique, it is its own world in some ways and … it scares the f–king s–t out of me,” Phoenix told Collider in July when asked why he joined the project. “It might as well be the thing that scares you the most.”

The Joker movie hits theaters on October 4, 2019.

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