Joaquin Phoenix Is Watching Closely in Intense New ‘Joker’ Image (Photo)

Director Todd Phillips shares the solemn photo from the super-villain origin film

Joker Screentest teaser
Warner Bros.

Didn’t anyone ever tell the Joker he’ll hurt his eyes by sitting too close to the TV?

That isn’t stopping Joaquin Phoenix, in a new image from “Joker” teased by director Todd Phillips, from leaning into his old fashioned TV set. It’s a fairly solemn new look. Why so serious?

“Editing #Joker,” Phillips said on Friday via Instagram. The black and white still shows Phoenix hunched over while sitting on a coffee table and getting up close to an old TV and what looks like a VCR player. The retro living space and Phoenix’s formal attire continue to make “Joker” look unlike any other superhero movie we’ve seen. Fittingly, TheWrap previously reported that the origin story for the Joker will be more of a mid-budget crime thriller than a superhero blockbuster.

“Joker” has been described as a character study and a “cautionary tale,” depicting how Phoenix’s Arthur — as he is named in this super-villain origin tale — is so beaten and neglected by the brutal world of Gotham City that his mind breaks, transforming him into Batman’s most infamous nemesis. The plot for the film is being kept under wraps, but it’s a safe bet that audiences can expect a dark tone.

Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Shea Whigham, Frances Conroy, Marc Maron, Douglas Hodge and Brett Cullen co-star in the film that Phillips co-wrote with Scott Silver.

Fans are still awaiting a trailer for the film that arrives on Oct. 4. See the new image below.