The cast of the Joker has come together to tell the origin story for the Clown Prince of Crime. The movie is directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover trilogy) and stars Joaquin Phoenix as the man who becomes one of the most recognizable villains in comics history.
Joker offers up a new backstory for the legendary Batman antagonist. The movie isn't adapted from any DC Comics arc, but does include familiar characters from the world of Batman. The city of Gotham, albeit an older version reminiscent of New York City in the late '70s or early '80s, serves as the setting. Early details on Joker note the movie is an "exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study but also a broader cautionary tale."
Joaquin Phoenix As Arthur Fleck
Joaquin Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck. Arthur is a struggling stand-up comedian who takes care of his mother, Penny. As seen in the Joker teaser trailer, Arthur tries to bring joy into the lives of others through his day job as a clown, but the teaser showed him repeatedly receiving mistreatment instead. His failing career in comedy and the circumstances of his life contribute to his transformation into the criminal known as Joker.
Phoenix has been acting since the early '80s but shot to fame with his performance in Gladiator, which earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the 2001 Oscars. Since then, he's appeared in films like Walk the Line, The Village, and The Master. Most recently, he was seen in You Were Never Really Here and The Sisters Brothers.
Frances Conroy As Penny Fleck
Frances Conroy plays Penny Fleck. Penny is Arthur's mother. She is an older woman whose health is fading, making her practically bed-ridden. Penny is also "obsessed with her former employer" and is having a tough time accepting her fate. Arthur lives with Penny in order to take care of her.
Robert De Niro As Murray Franklin
Robert De Niro plays Murray Franklin. Murray is a talk show host on a late-night television program which airs in Gotham. He plays a role in Arthur's transition from a struggling stand-up comedian into the Joker, and the teaser trailer showed Arthur appearing on Murray's show in his Joker garb.
De Niro is a Hollywood legend with a career spanning more than 50 years in movies and television. Roles in films like Taxi Driver and Raging Bull put De Niro on the map. Among the famed actor's most recent credits are The Intern, Joy, Dirty Grandpa, and another collaboration with director Martin Scorsese for The Irishman on Netflix.
Zazie Beetz As Sophie Dumond
Zazie Beetz plays Sophie Dumond. Previously released details about Sophie note that she is a single mother living in Gotham and is a person of interest (possibly a love interest) to Arthur. Sophie is beaten down by life in the city and feels as if the system is stacked against her and others in her community.
Brett Cullen As Thomas Wayne
Brett Cullen plays Thomas Wayne, the father of Bruce Wayne who was famously shot dead in an alleyway, according to Batman canon. In Joker, Thomas will be running for mayor of Gotham, but he's not popular with everyone in the city. In the Joker teaser trailer, he's seen speaking out on a television news program against crimes committed by people in masks, and another scene shows protesters mobbing him in a subway station.
Cullen took the role of Thomas Wayne after Alec Baldwin was cast and later exited the project. This is Cullen's second time in a movie tied to the world of Batman. He previously appeared in The Dark Knight Rises as Byron Gilley, a congressman kidnapped on Harvey Dent Day. Cullen's most recent credits include supporting roles in Queen of the South, season 3 of Netflix's Narcos, and season 3 of HBO's True Detective.
Additional Supporting Roles
- Douglas Hodge as Pennyworth: Douglas Hodge plays Alfred Pennyworth, a butler for the Wayne family. Hodge has appeared in TV series like season 4 of Black Mirror, Catastrophe, and Penny Dreadful. He's also been in movies including Red Sparrow and 2010's Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe.
- Dante Pereira-Olson as Bruce Wayne: Dante Pereira-Olson plays a young Bruce Wayne. Pereira-Olson has racked up a distinguished list of credits since his onscreen career began in 2014, including Netflix's Jessica Jones and SYFY's Happy!.
- Marc Maron as Ted Marco: Marc Maron plays Ted Marco. Ted is a producer on Murray's show. Maron is best known for his WTF podcast as well as his role in Netflix's GLOW.
- Bill Camp as a Gotham police officer: Bill Camp plays a Gotham police officer. Camp has been working in movies and television since the early '90s. Among his most recent credits are roles in movies like Molly's Game, Vice, and The Kitchen.
- Shea Whigham as a Gotham police officer: Shea Whigham plays a Gotham police officer. Whigham's most recent credits include a recurring role on season 1 of Homecoming, co-starring Julia Roberts, as well as movies like Sicario: Day of the Soldado, Bad Times at the El Royale, and First Man.
- Josh Pais as Hoyt Vaughn: Josh Pais plays Hoyt Vaughn. In a leaked set of Joker character descriptions, Hoyt is a hotel manager who has "seen it all" and finds it difficult to care "about much of anything anymore." Pais first appeared in a variety of TV shows in the '80s and '90s, including The Cosby Show, Murphy Brown, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. His most recent credits include supporting roles on Ray Donovan and Netflix's Maniac.
- Bryan Callen as an unnamed stripper: Bryan Callen plays an unnamed stripper. He has previously collaborated with director Todd Phillips on Old School and The Hangover. Callen's more recent credits include TV comedies The Goldbergs and its spinoff, Schooled, where he plays the same role as Coach Rick Mellor.
- Brian Tyree Henry as an unnamed nurse: Bryan Tyree Henry plays an unnamed nurse. Henry's character is most likely a nurse at Arkham State Hospital, a prominent location in Joker. Henry first landed on the public's radar with his role as Paper Boi on FX's Atlanta. Since then, he's appeared in movies like Hotel Artemis, If Beale Street Could Talk, Widows, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and Child's Play.
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019