'Joker' Trailer: Joaquin Phoenix Goes Crazy As The Clown Prince Of Crime

Joaquin Phoenix gets the last laugh in the new Joker trailer. The highly-anticipated anti-comic book movie from director Todd Phillips takes the Clown Prince of Crime out of whatever crazy continuity currently exists in DC-based films, and lets him loose in his own standalone story. Rather than attempt to make your standard superhero-inspired movie, Phillips is going for something heavily influenced by the work of Martin Scorsese – Taxi Driver by way of The King of Comedy. Watch the Joker trailer below.

Joker Trailer 

In many ways, Joker looks to be somewhat refreshing. We've spent so long trapped in a world of cinematic universes springing up around comic book properties that the prospect of a standalone story is unique. We don't have to worry about how this story might tie into Shazam! or Aquaman or any other DC-inspired film. We're just being presented with a totally independent tale, and for that, I'm enthusiastic.

I'm also enthusiastic about this cast. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Joaquin Phoenix is one of the best actors working right now. I am fully convinced that no matter how Joker turns out, his performance will be memorable. And as if that weren't enough, Phoenix is surrounded by some mighty talented folks:  Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, and Frances Conroy.

And yet...I'm still not convinced. But I want to be. And the footage released so far is certainly enticing. Cinematographer Lawrence Sher has brought a gritty, grainy style that looks a lot different than other comic book related movies, and then there's the fact that Joker is going to be playing the festival circuit, first at the Venice Film Festival, then at TIFF, and also the  New York Film Festival. That's usually a sign that the studio has a lot of faith in their product. But it's not a guarantee.

We'll start learning how audiences react to Joker very soon, as the film is set to premiere at Venice at the end of the month. After its festival run, Joker opens October 4.

Failed comedian Arthur Fleck encounters violent thugs while wandering the streets of Gotham City dressed as a clown. Disregarded by society, Fleck begins a slow dissent into madness as he transforms into the criminal mastermind known as the Joker.