See How Joaquin Phoenix's Joker Compares to Past Transformations

The actor takes on the role of the infamous character in new film

By Cydney Contreras Sep 21, 2018 10:48 PMTags
Joaquin Phoenix, The JokerBrosNYC / BACKGRID

Over the years, many famous actors have donned the makeup and wig of The Joker, but now it is Joaquin Phoenix's turn to take on the role of the crazed clown.

The actor stars front and center in the tale of how "Arthur" (the Joker's real name) turns into the evil villain fans know from many the Batman movies. Director Todd Phillips gave fans a first glimpse at the deranged man in a video shared to Instagram on Friday. In the creepy clip, Phoenix stands solemnly in street clothes as images of himself as the Joker flicker across the scene. Eventually the actor is shown grinning in full regalia, before quickly settling into a straight face. 

While Phoenix's take on the character mimics the appearance of the Joker fans have all come to know and love, others can't help but compare his costume to his predecessors. Joaquin follows in the footsteps of actors like Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and Jared Leto, who each put their own unique spin on the iconic villain.

Stars Who've Played the Joker

To see how the actor's interpretation of the Joker compares to his predecessors, check out the gallery below!

Cesar Romero

The actor played the character in the 1966 film Batman: The Movie, based on the hit live-action series.

Jack Nicholson

Nicholson set the bar when he played the Joker in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman film. Instead of the smudged makeup some fans have grown used to, he opted for a refined look when he starred alongside Michael Keaton's Batman.

Heath Ledger

In the final performance before his death, the Australian actor portrayed the villain in the 2007 film The Dark Knight. For his performance, the actor delved into the deep and twisted nature of the character, which earned him much praise from critics and fans alike. 

Jared Leto

Leto's performance as the Joker in the 2016 movie Suicide Squad totally reinvented the character, by introducing him with face tattoos and a mouth full of silver-capped teeth. 

Joaquin Phoenix

The actor dons the classic makeup and velvet suit in the 2019 movie Joker, which focuses on the character's origin story.

Cameron Monaghan

Monaghan got in touch with his dark side when he played the Joker in Fox's Gotham. The star once revealed in an interview with Jimmy Fallon that he drew inspiration from the fictional serial killer, Hannibal Lecter.

Zach Galifianakis

The actor portrayed the Joker in the 2017 animated film The Lego Batman Movie.

Mark Hamill

The actor portrayed the Joker in various animated projects, such as Batman: the Animated Series in the '90s.

Jeff Bennett

He portrayed the character in the 2008 animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

John DiMaggio

He portrayed the Joker in the 2010 animated film Batman: Under the Red Hood.

Brent Spiner

Star Trek: The Next Generation's Data portrayed the Joker in the Young Justice animated series in 2010.

Michael Emerson

The LOST alum portrayed the Joker in The Dark Knight Returns animated movie in 2012.

Troy Baker

He portrayed the character in the 2013 video game Arkham: Origins.

Steve Blum

He portrayed the character in the Lego Batman: The Video Game in 2008.

Kevin Michael Richardson

He portrayed the Joker in the 2004 animated series The Batman.

The film starring Joaquin Phoenix has an expected release date of October 2019.