Director Todd Phillips may not be the biggest fan of all these unofficial paparazzi pics emerging from the set of his new Joker movie, but every now and then, the filmmaker seems to adopt an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” mindset and releases some material of his own.
This latest Instagram upload, for instance, shows Joaquin Phoenix smoking while in full clown makeup, and while that’s a specific combination that the press has already shared with the public, this photo is reportedly taken from in between filming, when it’s Phoenix, not his character Arthur Fleck, who’s enjoying the cigarette.
It’s a nice enough image, but it isn’t nearly as revealing as the other material that Phillips has taken it upon himself to release. Back in September, for example, the director got the internet talking when he posted the first-look footage of Phoenix in Joker makeup. Since then, Phillips has offered some official images of the actor in more traditional clown garb and Zazie Beetz in her role as Sophie Dumond. For the most part, however, the filmmaker’s really had no choice but to leave the publicizing up to the media.
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From the unofficial set photos, we’ve already been able to piece together a narrative of Arthur as a notorious public figure, with various leaked pics showing admiring crowds following the character while holding up provocative slogans like “Clown4Mayor” and “Kill the Rich.” One potentially spoiler-heavy batch of images even showed Phoenix sitting in the back of a police car, with the actor’s deranged grin suggesting that this scene may take place pretty far down the line in the character’s transformation into the famed villain.
Of course, we’ll only get a full picture of what this movie has to offer when Joker hits theaters on October 4th, 2019.