In late July, it was announced that Joaquin Phoenix would be the next face of everyone’s favourite villain, The Joker. Set to be more “darker and experimental” than past renditions of the comic, we finally got a look into the making of the film. Thanks to the director and co-writer of the new film, Todd Philips revealed Phoenix’s character to Instagram – and it’s not what you’d expect.

In the shared photo, The Joker is without his signature makeup and clothing, depicting “Arthur” before he was turned villainous. This newest adaption will look into the characters past as “an exploration of a man disregarded by society that is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.”

In an interview with Collider, Phoenix gave light to the synopsis of the film.

“I wouldn’t quite classify this as like any genre. I wouldn’t say it’s a superhero movie, or a studio movie or a… It feels unique, and I think more than anything, and probably the most important thing, is Todd seems very passionate about it and very giving, and so that’s exciting. I think, underneath the excitement of these films, and the size of them, there are these incredible characters that are dealing with real life struggles. And sometimes that is uncovered and exposed, and sometimes it isn’t, and so I always felt, like, there were characters in comics that were really interesting and deserve the opportunity to be kind of studied. And so I think that’s what Todd sees appealing about this idea.”

Thus far, the film which will also star Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, and Marc Maron, is set to be released on October 4, 2019. Stay tuned.