The first image of Joaquin Phoenix as The Joker might not be what you expected

The first image of Joaquin Phoenix as The Joker might not be what you expected.

The film’s director, Todd Phillips, shared the first image of Phoenix, 43, on Instagram Monday.

Captioned with a simple, “Arthur,” Phoenix is dressed in a dowdy dark gray jacket and light-colored button-down shirt with his long hair framing his gaunt face as he stares at the camera with suspicion and grit in his eyes.

Phillips gives no indication as to whether his upcoming Joker origin film will see Phoenix dressed in a full white face, green hair and purple suit.

While plot details have been kept under wraps, Phoenix has previously opened up about taking on the character in a July interview with Collider.

“It feels unique, it is its own world in some ways, and maybe, mostly, it scares the f— s— out of me, or something,” Phoenix said, adding that an actor’s next project “might as well be the thing that scares you the most.”

The actor also discussed what it’s like to step into a role that so many people have their own opinions about.

“It’s a magnified version of what you deal with as an actor,” he said, explaining that whenever an actor takes on a role and gets in front of the film’s creative team, it can be pretty nerve-wracking.

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Joaquin Phoenix
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“They have their expectation, and they’ve imagined things in their head, and they’ve imagined different actors, and suddenly you take it on and so there’s this moment of anxiety of ‘Did I live up to their expectations?'” he continued. “And at some point, you have to just own it and say like ‘I can’t consider who they might have thought up before or what the movie was for the six months ago, this is what it is now and I have to find my way into it.'”

The famous character has previously been portrayed by many actors, including Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and Jared Leto.

Warner Bros has described the film as being an “exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study but also a broader cautionary tale,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Joker origin film is scheduled for release in October 2019.