August 30, 2018 04:44 PM

Joaquin Phoenix looked casual in New York City on Wednesday as he prepares to take on a new role as The Joker.

The Oscar-nominated actor, 43, looked laid-back in a navy blue pullover shirt, dark blue jeans, sneakers and black sunglasses as he smoked a cigarette in the streets of New York.

While the actor is currently enjoying end of summer, it won’t be long before he picks up the mantle of one of the most iconic villains in movie history.

It was confirmed in July, Phoenix would play the Joker in a new one-off origin story for Warner Bros., which will be directed and co-written by Todd Phillips. Phillips previously wrote and directed The Hangover Trilogy, Old School and War Dogs.

“I take a lot of time and consideration when making decisions and what I’m gonna work on,” Phoenix told Collider in a July interview.

Joaquin Phoenix
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“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 continued, adding an actor’s next project “might as well be the thing that scares you the most.”

He also opened up about stepping into a role that has a vocal fanbase.

“It’s a magnified version of what you deal with as an actor,” he said. “They have their expectation, and they 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?’”

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“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 6 months ago, this is what it is now and I have to find my way into it,’” he added.

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

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