The Wild New ‘Joker’ Trailer Reveals How the Batman Villain Went Bad

Joker / Warner Bros.
Joker / Warner Bros.

The new trailer for Joker is here, giving fans an in-depth look at Joaquin Phoenix as the iconic Batman villain. While the film—from director Todd Phillips—isn’t strictly based on a specific comic book, it follows Arthur Fleck’s (Phoenix) transformation into the Joker.

Gotham City is imagined like an ’80s-era New York City, and the plot follows a beaten down Fleck as he struggles through various jobs, growing ever more alienated by society. Part of the storyline involves a late-night talk show host, Murray Franklin, played by Robert De Niro. The Joker is seeking to gain fame and notoriety in a corrupt city. The film is a standalone and won’t be connected to the overall DC Movie Universe, which includes movies like Aquaman and Shazam!.

The gritty and realistic feel of the film purposefully pays homage to Martin Scorsese’s movies, including King of Comedy, which starred De Niro as a struggling comedian who goes to extreme lengths to get on late-night TV. While Batman isn’t expected to show up in this film, the characters of Alfred Pennyworth, Thomas Wayne, and a young Bruce Wayne will appear in the film.

Here’s a look at the new trailer:

Joker hits theaters on October 4.

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