Joaquin Phoenix Puts on 'a Happy Face' as the Joker in Terrifying New Movie Poster

See the first movie poster for the upcoming villain origin story Joker

Joaquin Phoenix‘s smile has a razor sharp edge.

In the first movie poster for his upcoming film Joker, Phoenix embraces his character while wearing a white polka-dotted shirt, slicked-back hair, white makeup and a red clown smile.

Director Todd Phillips shared the movie poster on Instagram Tuesday in which he wrote, “Teaser trailer tomorrow. #JokerMovie.”

Phoenix, 44, stars as the DC supervillain in Phillips’ thriller, which tells the origin story of Batman’s greatest foe.

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

“It feels unique, it’s its own world in some ways, and maybe, mostly, it scares the f— s— out of me, or something,” Phoenix said, before adding that any 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 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 famous role and then gets in front of the film’s creative team, it can be nerve-wracking.

“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.

Joker laughs into theaters Oct. 4.

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