Joker Teaser Trailer: Joaquin Phoenix Puts On A Happy Face

Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker

UPDATE: Read Our Joker trailer breakdown here.

The first teaser trailer for Joker has been released online. Directed by Todd Phillips, the project is one of the more fascinating comic book films to hit the scene this year. In essence, this is an Elseworlds-type movie that's separate from any pre-existing continuity established in other DC adaptations. While some fans remain skeptical of Joker's prospects, others are excited by what it represents, feeling it could mark the next step in the evolution of superhero cinema.

Joaquin Phoenix leads a talented ensemble as Arthur Fleck, the failed standup comedian who transforms into the Joker. Fans have already been treated to plenty of glimpses of the Oscar-nominee as the character, with Phillips officially revealing Phoenix's clown look and numerous set photos/videos making their way online. But now, moviegoers finally get a real taste of what to expect with the premiere of the long-awaited teaser trailer.

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Warner Bros. unveiled the preview today after debuting it last night during their CinemaCon presentation. You can watch it for yourself in the space below:

As one would imagine, the trailer is heavily focused on establishing Arthur's character, painting him as a troubled man on the brink of insanity. Despite being told by his mother to put on a happy face and bring "laughter and joy to the world," Arthur feels the world is becoming an increasingly cruel and crazy place (see: the frequent attacks on Arthur in the footage), which is the catalyst for him becoming the Joker. The trailer also lays the foundation for Arthur's personal relationships by showing him interacting with his mother Penny (Frances Conroy) and going on what appears to be a date with Sophie Dumond (Zazie Beetz). Phoenix, unsurprisingly, is dedicated to the role, promising to deliver an unhinged and captivating turn as the iconic villain. This, of course, is a character many have played before, and Phoenix will in all likelihood be up for the challenge of following their footsteps.

Phoenix has been courted for comic book movies before (Marvel wanted him for Doctor Strange), but he always turned the parts down due to his reluctance to sign a longterm, multi-picture contract. However, Phoenix was always keen on doing a low-budget adaptation revolving around a villain, and Joker certainly fits that bill. This is the benefit of studios making one-offs like Joker; it's more appealing for top-notch talent like Phoenix and others (Robert De Niro is in this movie too) to come in, make a unique film, and move on. Hopefully, this dark, gritty, character-driven take on the mythos succeeds in the fall, encouraging WB to continue with other Elseworlds movies.

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Source: Warner Bros.

Key Release Dates
  • Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
  • Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
  • Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
  • DC Super Pets (2022) release date: May 20, 2022
  • The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
  • The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021
  • Aquaman 2 (2022) release date: Dec 16, 2022
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