Let’s do a little real-talk here: These trailers for Joker are, in a word, great. Even if the movie sucks—as some folks seem to be readily anticipating on social media—we’ll always have these weirdly, dementedly poignant (???) trailers in which Joaquin Phoenix has, by all appearances, achieved his final form as the personification of Daniel Day-Lewis, but if he had an ironic Twitter account. The latest (and final) trailer for this psychotic origin story adds further dimension to the woeful tale of a would-be comedian struggling with mental illness—a battle he inevitably loses, since, ya know, he goes on to become the most iconic Batman villain.
Speaking of which, it does seem that Bruce Wayne’s dad, Thomas, makes an appearance later in the trailer, truly transforming this prequel/spinoff into what I will now affectionately call Batshit Begins. Directed by Todd Phillips, of all people, Joker is set to premiere at both the upcoming Venice and Toronto film festivals, with a special preview screening to be held at the New York film festival. The film, which also stars Zazie Beetz, Robert De Niro, and Marc Maron, hits theaters on October 4. Here’s the ol’ official synopsis:
Director Todd Phillips’ “Joker” centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone fictional story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night…but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty character study.