First Joker trailer with Joaquin Phoenix is one disturbing nightmare
Jennifer BissetFormer Senior Editor / Culture
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
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Best New Journalist 2019 Australian IT Journalism Awards
The Todd Phillips-directed origin story has been teased as a grittier take on DC's Clown Prince of Crime, with a few images trickling in that show Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a failed stand-up comedian whose hardships in a bleak city lead him to insanity.
The first trailer looks suitably disturbing and delivers on that promised darker tone. A smiling Arthur in full clown makeup is, well, as scary as a clown. While a social worker attempts to help him with the aforementioned insanity, his line, "I used to think my life was a tragedy. But now I realize, it's a comedy" and a violent encounter with street thugs no doubt point to the tragedy to come.
Watch this: First Joker trailer has a gritty, dark tone
This is the first DC film to be separate from the DC Extended Universe, so we can expect no attempt to connect events here to those in the Justice League.
With eerie strings from Sicario: Day of the Soldado composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, Martin Scorsese co-producing and a tighter budget ($55 million) compared with your average superhero caper, this is looking like a Taxi Driver-level character study well worth a gander.
Joker springs out of the box Oct. 4 in the US and UK, and Oct. 3 in Australia.