The first footage from Joker has arrived from CinemaCon, and here's what was shown. Even though Warner Bros. and DC Films are now experiencing success with their shared universe model, they will venture into uncharted territory later this year. Joker is not only a solo film for Batman's arch-nemesis, but it'll take place in a universe all its own. Directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck aka the Clown Prince of Crime, the movie has become one of the most anticipated films of the year.
Filming on Joker wrapped last year and fans have been waiting to see more than just leaked set photos and videos - or the occasional official image from Phillips - ever since. After the arrival of the first poster earlier today and a promise that the first trailer is coming tomorrow, it's actually already made its debut at CinemaCon. Phillips took the stage at the convention moments ago to unveil the first footage from Joker, which should be online tomorrow morning between 9am-12pm EST.
Phillips debuted the first trailer moments later and here's what Screen Rant's Rob Keyes saw. The trailer begins with Arthur talking to a social worker who asks him, "Does it help to have someone to talk to?" Phoenix gives a creepy smile and begins explaining his relationship with his mother (Frances Conroy). He says, "My mother always tell me to smile and put on a happy face. She told me I had a purpose," as a shot of him bathing her is shown. It cuts to his life as a sign flipper on the streets of Gotham, where he is dressed as a clown. His sign is stolen and he's beaten up. Arthur then is shown with Zazie Beetz's character and says, "Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there?" He later is shown as the only one laughing at a comedy club, which showcases Phoenix's maniacal laugh.
His descent into becoming the Joker begins as Arthur looks in the mirror and uses his fingers to force a big smile. We then see him laughing on a train by himself wearing a mask, which leads to him being called a freak and getting beaten up again. The next scene shows him running in full clown makeup as a voiceover says, "Gotham has lost its way." Thomas Wayne (Brett Cullen) is shown on TV discussing Joker's antics and asks, “What kind of cowards would do something that cold blooded?,” while saying he is hiding behind a mask. The trailer ends with Phoenix in his final costume with flowers and then dancing on stairs in an alley as the voiceover returns to say, "I used to think my life was a tragedy but now I realize that it's a comedy."
Based on the description of the trailer alone, the marketing will not waste any time establishing what type of movie Joker is going to be. There's no bright colors, jokes or action, just a singular view at a man who slowly unravels. Phoenix's performance is the selling point more than anything else. One of the more interesting lines comes from Thomas Wayne as he calls the Joker a coward for hiding behind a mask. This is a fascinating thought process coming from a man who's son will one day fight criminals with a mask of his own and a focus on keeping his secret identity.
This description is only the beginning of Joker's marketing push, and is enough to generate even more excitement before the trailer is released online officially. With it expected to arrive tomorrow morning as of the time of this writing, it won't be long before everyone will be able to see this Joker trailer.