The trailer for the new Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix has dropped, and the clown prince of crime looks pretty menacing in his latest iteration. The two minute trailer shows us the origin story of The Joker, and they are very upsetting.
The Joker is perhaps one of the most loved villainous characters across both DC and even Marvel. The success of Heath Ledger's performance in The Dark Knight only amplified the popularity of the evil clown. But expectations for a new Joker performance were tempered, as the last outing by Jared Leto in Suicide Squad was, per consensus, very underwhelming.
The film, simply titled Joker, is directed by Todd Phillips, who is famous for directing comedies such as The Hangover trilogy and Due Date. This project presents a different experience from his usual output.
Portraying the titular Joker is three-time Oscar nominated actor Phoenix, who's oeuvre was missing a comic book adapted film.
After watching the newly released trailer, here's our four takeaways:
We go way back
From the beginning of the trailer, it's obvious that the origin story told here is extensive, and goes deep into the character's past. We see him interacting with his mother, as well as trying to stay happy while working menial jobs before life's woefulness catches up to him.
The Joker as we know him is a deeply disturbed and evil character, with no remorse for anyone or anything. The film will probably show us that descent into madness. Other origin stories of the character made it seem as though his madness was switched on suddenly. But here we can tell that it will be more excruciating for him.
In the trailer, we could spot some of the big names who were cast in the film. Two stars from the cult favourite show Atlanta show up, Zazie Beetz and Brian Tyree Henry. Screen veteran Robert DeNiro also makes an appearance while other names credited include comedian Marc Maron and Frances Conroy as the Joker's mother.
The King of Comedy
Some astute film fans might have noticed the similarities between the beats in the trailer and Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy, a film about a comedian who slowly becomes mentally deranged. The appearance of DeNiro certainly supports the argument. If DeNiro's Rupert Pupkin might have become The Joker in an alternate universe, does that mean Jerry Lewis is the Batman?
Joker is due for release in October