Phillips, known for the Hangover trilogy, is directing a standalone film on the Joker with Joaquin Phoenix in the lead. The picture was captioned "Arthur", a nod to the character's pre-Joker name, Arthur Fleck. The Joker has, of course, used many aliases over the years, but most have always involved a "J" somewhere (Jack Napier, Jack White etc.), so it's something of a departure for this incarnation to omit the letter entirely. Todd Phillips co-wrote the backstory tale of Gotham City's big baddie with The Fighter's Scott Silver, which is described as a gritty character study but also a broader cautionary tale of a man disregarded by society who becomes the ultimate supervillain.
The writer-director posted a photo earlier today on his Instagram account showing a shaggy-haired, haggard Phoenix revealing the character's name to be Arthur.
The film, the first solo movie centred around the popular Batman villain, is being executive produced by legendary film-maker Martin Scorsese.
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We might finally have our first glimpse of the Clown Prince of Crime.
But! Joker also has a really great cast, including Joaquin Phoenix, Robert DeNiro, Frances Conroy, Zazie Beetz and Marc Maron. So, it will be interesting to see how comic book fans react to what Todd Phillips and Phoenix are creating together. But wouldn't it be the most Joker thing imaginable if the movie made Phoenix's role a bait-and-switch? It's technically not even confirmed that Phoenix is this movie's Joker, just that he's the star.
Joker is filming right now, and is set to be released in October.