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New Empire Magazine Covers Shine a Spotlight on Joaquin Phoenix's Joker

Joaquin Phoenix graces two covers of Empire Magazine for Joker. The next Warner Bros. and DC Comics film hits theaters in a few months, and marketing seems to be heating up. A full trailer has already been released for the Todd Phillips-directed project back in April, and since then, the studio has been relatively quiet about the upcoming flick. But as its debut nears, new promotional material is starting to trickle in.

Set in the 1980s, Joker will introduce fans to the titular character when he was still a struggling comedian known as Arthur Fleck. The narrative, which Phillips co-wrote with Scott Silver, will be separate from the established DCEU lore, meaning it doesn't have anything to do with the Justice League or Jared Leto's version of the Crown Prince of Crime. Instead, Joker will launch a brand new banner for DC Films that may be called DC Dark or DC Black. Joker packs a star-studded cast, including Robert De Niro as Murray Franklin; Zazie Beetz as Sophie Dumond; Marc Maron as Ted Marco; Brett Cullen as Thomas Wayne; and Frances Conroy as Penny Fleck - Arthur's mom.

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Related: All 30 Upcoming & In-Development DC Films

Empire Magazine released two covers (newsstand and subscriber variants) featuring Phoenix's Joker on their official Twitter account. Both have the actor morphing between Arthur Fleck and the iconic DC supervillain. The subscriber cover portrait was shot by Niko Tavernise. Meanwhile, the regular one hits shelves on July 11. Check them both out below.

Admittedly, not everyone was convinced that a Joker standalone film could work when this project was first announced. But as time went on and more details were released regarding the film, people began mellowing to the idea that this could be the surprise comic book movie hit of the year. The talent involved in the flick is impressive, and everything that's come out of it so far looks promising. Plot details are still tightly under wraps, but based on the trailer, it looks really intense. Rumor has it that Arthur is the illegitimate son of Thomas Wayne, and assuming that this comes to fruition in the film, it'll be interesting to see how this huge development will be handled moving forward. This was possibly alluded to in the movie's trailer, as Arthur seems like he has a personal grudge against Wayne and his family.

Aside from these magazine covers being aesthetically pleasing, it also seems like they've captured the core narrative of Joker, which is Fleck's transformation into becoming the full Clown Prince of Crime that fans know and love. While there have been a myriad of iterations for the character, it's in this film that a detailed backstory is going to be established. Like that or not, one would be hard-pressed to find someone who isn't at least somewhat interested in what drove the iconic villain to madness.

More: Joker Theory: Joaquin Phoenix Version Is Batman's Brother

Source: Empire Magazine

Key Release Dates
  • Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
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