The Joker always did like a close shave. Today, director Todd Phillips took to Instagram to share an image from the set of Joker: Folie à Deux, the sequel to his 2019 blockbuster Joker. The picture features Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, who is now the Joker, as he gets a shave, probably while locked in Arkham Asylum. (I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t want the Joker handling his own razor; maybe we’ll find out it cost them a few guards and orderlies before they realized this was a bad idea.) You can see the image below:
Obviously, this isn’t much to go on in formulating an opinion on Joker: Folie à Deux. However, I like the picture. It looks dingy and grimy, like he’s in the bowels of hell… and they’re still afraid of him. That’s cool and very in character. I also like how the shaving cream creates the sense of the clown makeup on his lower face and neck and even part of his nose. As much as they’re trying to strip him of the unholy monster he became, the figurehead of that chaos movement that ended the first film, they can’t get rid of it. Something as quotidian as shaving leaves the specter of the Joker on his face. It’s also just a great image in itself; if the first movie evoked the Scorsese/De Niro collaboration Taxi Driver (but not to the extent some people ridiculously claimed it did), this one looks more like their Cape Fear, with Phoenix’s grimy locks similar to Max Cady’s. Most of all, though, it’s nice to know that filming is underway; Joker took me completely by surprise, and I’m excited to see the follow-up.