With filming for the upcoming “Joker” film underway on the streets of New York, paparazzi are posting loads of leaks from the set online. To counter it, director Todd Phillips released the first picture of Zazie Beetz’s character in the DC film, just days after unveiling how Joaquin Phoenix will look as the Clown Prince of Crime.
“We have paparazzi all over our set, at every turn. And it bums me out that they constantly put out their bad shots,” bemoaned Phillips on Instagram. “So I figure, may as well put out some good ones.”
The “Deadpool 2” star will play Sophie Dumond, a single mother struggling to make ends meet in Gotham City. And by the looks of Beetz in Phillips’ picture, the struggle is clear, with Sophie gripping the collar of her mutely-colored sweater while sporting unkempt hair and a distant, downtrodden gaze.
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“Joker” has been described as a character study and a “cautionary tale,” depicting how Phoenix’s Arthur — as he is named in this supervillain 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 film is said to be inspired by Martin Scorsese’s darkly comedic drama “The King of Comedy,” which stars Robert De Niro as a failed, mentally unstable comic who kidnaps a late night talk host to perform his opening monologue in front of a national audience. But Batman fans have also noted that the premise holds parallels to the origin story given to the Joker in Alan Moore’s polarizing comic “The Killing Joke.”
In that story, the Joker is also seen as a failed comedian who is forced to turn to crime to make ends meet after his pregnant wife is killed, leading to a failed robbery that transforms him into the infamous villain. That has led some to believe that Sophie will play a similar role in “Joker” and a potential love interest for Arthur whose tragic end sends him spiraling into nihilism.
“Joker” hits theaters on Oct. 4, 2019.