See Eerie First Look at Joaquin Phoenix in 'Joker' Standalone Film

Joaquin Phoenix
May Hayward/Getty Images for Seattle International Film Festival

Production has begun on Joker!

Joaquin Phoenix, who will be playing the Clown Prince of Crime, was photographed on set in Brooklyn, New York, on Sunday, looking decidedly thin and sporting medium-length hair. In this particular scene, he clearly hasn’t embraced a life of crime quite yet. Instead, 43-year-old Phoenix wears slacks, a sweater and a tan jacket while carrying a brown bag and smoking a cigarette. The street is littered with trash, recreating an '80s era Gotham City, when the film is set. Based on this shoot alone, The Joker looks to be striking a far grittier take on the beloved character.

Unlike most recent DC films that involve the maniacal clown, including The Dark Knight and Suicide Squad, the upcoming project intends to create an origin story for the legendary villain. 

Joaquin Phoenix
Steve Sands/NewYorkNewswire/MEGA

The film’s director, Todd Philips, also shared a profile shot of Phoenix. Similarly garbed in a collared shirt and green shirt, the actor gives the camera a chilly stare. “Arthur,” is all the caption fans were provided with. Arthur is the name of his character, before embracing the madness of the titular antagonist.

Although this film is humming along, all is not well elsewhere in the DC Extended Universe. Recently, a report has surfaced from The Hollywood Reporter that Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill both might be done as Batman and Superman. However, WB has pushed back in regards to the Man of Steel.

“While no decisions have been made regarding any upcoming Superman films, we’ve always had great respect for and a great relationship with Henry Cavill, and that remains unchanged,” the studio told ET in a statement.

“Be peaceful, the cape is still in his closet," Cavill’s rep Dany Garcia tweeted, also in response to the firing report. "@wbpictures has been and continues to be our partners as they evolve the DC Universe.”

Cavill himself posted a video that cryptically takes challenges rumors as well. In it, he wears a “Krypton Lifting Team” T-shirt while playing with a Superman action figure. “Today was exciting,” he captioned the video, along with the hashtag #Superman.

 As for Affleck’s future as Gotham’s savior, ET has reached out to both actor’s reps and Warner Bros. regarding the report.

The Joker also stars Robert De Niro, Marc Maron, Frances Conroy and Deadpool 2's Zazie Beetz. It's produced by Martin Scorsese. For a short time, Alec Baldwin was cast as Thomas Wayne, Bruce Wayne's father, however, he's since left the project. 

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