‘Joker’ Trailer: Joaquin Phoenix Goes Dark and Gritty as the Iconic Batman Villain

Joker Movie / Warner Bros.
 Joker Movie / Warner Bros.


You’ve never seen the Joker quite like this. The first teaser trailer for the Todd Phillips-directed Joker movie has been released, showing off the new way Joaquin Phoenix will bring the iconic Batman villain to life.

The movie has a gritty, realistic style for Gotham City, designing it like an 80s-era New York City where there’s danger around every corner. Phoenix’s Joker starts off as a man named Arthur Fleck, a struggling comedian and clown who is looking for success, but ends up snapping and becoming a crazy villain instead.

Joker Movie / Warner Bros.
Joker Movie / Warner Bros.

The film is a standalone movie and won’t be connected to the overall DC Movie Universe, giving Phillips and Phoenix a chance to explore the character with some freedom. While DC has had recent success with Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Shazam!, they also are hoping to have another line of movies that aren’t bogged down by a connected story. Joker will be the first of those movies.

Here’s a look at the trailer:

The movie looks like what would happen if Martin Scorsese made a comic book movie—which is exactly the vibe that Phillips was going for. Phillips previously said that the film was inspired by two of Scorsese’s New York-set films, The King of Comedy and Taxi Driver. In fact, originally Scorsese was set to be an executive producer on Joker, but scheduling issues kept that from happening. There’s still a Scorsese connection though: Emma Tillinger Koskoff, who worked on Scorsese’s film The Wolf of Wall Street, is a producer on the film.

Alongside Phoenix is a pretty incredible cast, including Academy Award-winner Robert De Niro as a late night TV host, Atlanta’s Brian Tyree Henry as an orderly at Arkham State Hospital, Deadpool 2’s Zazie Beetz as a single mother and Arthur’s love interest, as well as Hollywood’s go-to supporting actor Bill Camp as a Gotham City police officer.

Joker will be released on October 4, 2019.