The first trailer for Warner Bros.’ new Joker movie has arrived, and it looks like Joaquin Phoenix is taking the character to a very dark place. Unlike many of the Joker’s other on-screen portrayals, this movie is going in-depth on the infamous villain’s backstory.
This teaser trailer clocks in at 2 minutes and 24 seconds. In that time, we see aspiring comedian Arthur Fleck struggling to succeed, to care for his aging mother, or to simply be happy. Eventually, he begins descending into madness and a life of crime in Gotham City. There is a voiceover from Fleck throughout: “I used to think my life was a tragedy,” he says near the end. “Now I realize it’s a comedy.”
The whole thing is very dark and very unsettling, but in a really good way. It’s also set to Nat King Cole’s “Smile,” which just ups the creepy factor.
Check out the full trailer here.
Director Todd Phillips has said this movie will stand alone as an origin story for the Clown Prince, not as part of the DC Extended Universe.
Warner Bros. also released a poster for the movie yesterday with the tagline, “Put on a happy face.” Phoenix’s jacket on the poster is an homage to Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy, which reportedly influenced this movie.
Joker is set to debut in theaters on Oct. 4.