See Joaquin Phoenix Back As The Joker With A New Look

Joaquin Phoenix is back as the Joker in a new on-set photo.

By Phillip Moyer | Updated

joaquin phoenix joker

Los Angeles is being dressed up as Gotham City for the upcoming Joker sequel Joker: Folie à Deux — one of the few planned films to survive James Gunn‘s takeover of the DC Universe. Now we have photos of Joaquin Phoenix reprising his celebrated role of the titular Joker, aka Arthur Fleck. Much of his costume looks similar to the original 2019 movie, with the colorful suit, green hair, and red nose, along with the notable addition of a black raincoat.

The photo, tweeted out by the French DC news account The Daily Planet, shows Joaquin Phoenix in full Joker regalia walking down the center of a street. The street is lined by old, 80s-style cars, with the sidewalk littered with trash and garbage bags. The impression is an impoverished, run-down Gotham City that falls in line with the aesthetic of the original film. 

Joaquin Phoenix’s original Joker film was a major departure from most DC films of the time. Instead of being an over-the-top effects-heavy extravaganza like the previous year’s Aquaman or a lighthearted, humorous fantasy like 2019’s ShazamJoker felt like a psychological crime thriller more in line with Nightcrawler or Taxi Driver. While there were some familiar comic book elements, such as the existence of Gotham City and the gunning down of Thomas and Martha Wayne, anyone unfamiliar with the DC Universe might not even realize its connection to superhero films.

joaquin phoenix joker

The original movie was highly praised for its plausible origin story and chilling narrative, and Joaquin Phoenix received much critical acclaim for his portrayal of the Joker. Phoenix even won the academy award for Best Actor in a Leading Role – the first for a superhero film. 

At the end of the first film, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker was confined to Arkham Mental Asylum, with it being left up to the audience to decide how much of the film was real and how much was simply the delusions of a mentally ill man. There were plenty of hints that some events were all in Arther Fleck’s head, with scenes clearly showing him imagining some events — even ones that the audience had been led to assume were true for most of the film.

It’s entirely possible that Joaquin Phoenix’s follow-up performance in Joker: Folie à Deux will answer some of the questions about what actually happened in the original film — though it’s just as likely that it’ll only serve to raise more questions. The sequel has been described as a “musical,” which immediately hints that the events portrayed won’t align with the reality of what actually happened. 

While little is known about the actual plot of Joker: Folie à Deux, its title hints at what we can expect to see. The term “Folie à Deux” describes two people having a shared psychosis. With Lady Gaga co-starring in the film in an unknown role, it stands to reason she’ll play someone who shares the same delusion as Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker – perhaps meaning that Gaga will take up the role of Harley Quinn.