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 finally shared a first glimpse of the Oscar-nominated actor in character. The caption simply read "Arthur," which will apparently be this version of the villain's name before he adopted his infamous mononym. A short while later he shared another look, and this time we saw Arthur become the legendary villain we've been anxious to see.
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 tent poles 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 toward a life of crime. Stay tuned for more as production continues and check out every small glimpse we've caught so far.