While time will tell how Joaquin Phoenix fares in the title role of Joker, the character’s physical appearance offers few surprises, with plenty of fans rightly drawing comparisons to Heath Ledger’s disheveled look in The Dark Knight, as well as the classic Cesar Romero design from the 1960s.
A new post on Reddit, however, offers the suggestion that Arthur Fleck’s make-up may have taken some influence from some concept art for Christopher Nolan’s 2008 film, in which a bald, white-faced figure is shown to have similar blue patterns around his eyes, as well as some red on his nose. Sure enough, if you stuck a green wig on the guy, the results wouldn’t be all that different from Phoenix’s look.
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Of course, you could certainly argue that all the shared features of these two designs are simply common elements of a generic clown costume, suggesting that the team behind this new release won’t necessarily have been inspired by this older image. Either way, the influence that The Dark Knight’s rendition of the Clown Prince of Prime has had on this latest incarnation is pretty hard to miss. Physical appearance aside, you can see the similarities in the set pics of Arthur stirring up trouble on the Gotham subway before casually walking away, happy with the chaos he’s caused.
One way in which Todd Phillips’ film looks set to differ from Nolan’s movie, however, is that the famed villain will seemingly have the support of a large part of the public, who perhaps see this mischief-maker as a hero for the underprivileged. Previously leaked photos, for instance, have showed admiring crowds following Arthur while holding up politically charged slogans like “Clown4Mayor” and “Kill the Rich,” while the wealthy Thomas Wayne is seen as the enemy.
We’ll see how the Clown Prince uses his influence when Joker comes out on October 4th, 2019.