Well, this is… interesting. This afternoon director Todd Phillips shared a screen test of the upcoming, untitled Joker film. While it doesn’t tell us really anything in terms of plot, it was a fairly good look at the potential tone of the film. And the money shot? Joaquin Phoenix‘s Arthur is seemingly in his “Joker” form. Because of this, we have a few questions.

The 30 second video shows a slow zoom in on Arthur as his frown slowly turns upside down to some melancholy music. Imagery of a clown dancing is flashed across his face before we see that the clown was actually Arthur the whole time. As though that side of himself is hidden beneath. The clown flashes a grin before turning quickly into a deep frown. The clown makeup looks poorly drawn on and in a more traditional style. He’s also seen wearing an orange suit with his hair potentially dyed green. 

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So there are a number of questions that come up with this video. For one, does this mean that the character is actually a clown before becoming one of the most influential and dangerous mob bosses of Gotham? Is he a struggling clown that can’t get work so he goes off the deep end? Or is this makeup a way to hide away his mental struggles, becoming his mask? Will this be his actual Joker outfit? It’s a unique look for the character to be sure. The colors of the face paint almost look like a homage to the Heath Ledger version in the opening scene of The Dark Knight. And, admittedly, his dancing looks a bit sinister.

Overall though, I’m not digging it. There is just something about the sad looking man and grumpy clown that elicits nothing but a sigh from me. I want to be scared of The Joker, not be thinking about Puddles Pity Party. However, many people were upset with Ledger’s look and hated him for the role – and he became completely iconic. So I’ll do my best to not judge too harshly before seeing the film. But boy is it hard not to.

Check out the screen test below and let us know what you think of it. Are you digging it? Be sure to come back to Geek Girl Authority for more updates. The untitled Joker film stars Joaquin Phoenix, Robert DeNiro, Zazie Beetz, Marc Maron, Brett Cullen and more. The film is set to debut in fall of 2019.


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Camera test (w/ sound). Joker.

A post shared by Todd Phillips (@toddphillips1) on