Just when everyone is still riding on the euphoria of how good Shazam! is, Warner Bros Pictures unexpectedly hits us with the first teaser trailer for the Todd Phillips’ upcoming standalone Joker movie.
The Joker movie will attempt to explore the Joker‘s origins, starring award-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, the man who is destined to become the Clown Prince of Crime.
The trailer begins by showing us by establishing that he’s close with his mother and that the spiraling chaos of Gotham City will plunge him deeper into madness. We see a glimpse of Deadpool 2 star Zazie Beetz‘s mysterious character, Sophie Dumond, who is supposed to be Fleck’s love interest.
Besides that, we also get to see Brett Cullen‘s Thomas Wayne, who is running for mayor of Gotham. This version of him seems to be more ruthless and less of the traditional good guy we’re used to in other incarnation (both movies and comics).
Speaking of the Waynes, here’s Dante Pereira-Olson‘s much younger Bruce Wayne being forced into a creepy smile by Fleck.
Keep in mind that the Joker movie is meant to be standalone and separate from the DCEU (of which 2017’s Justice League, Aquaman, and Shazam are all a part of). A cinematic “Elseworlds” story, if you will.
From the looks of the trailer, I like what I see and hear so far, with its unique tone and atmosphere. Despite that, I still feel a bit apprehensive. There’s a reason why even the source material seldom explores the Joker‘s origin, with rare notable exceptions like Alan Moore’s iconic The Killing Joke.
If the scene above is any indication, then it certainly seems like the Joker movie may be more heavily inspired by The Killing Joke than I thought. In Moore’s origin story, the Joker is a failed stand-up comedian who turns to a life of crime to support his family.
I’m reserving my judgment but so far the Joker movie seems like it’s going to be a game-changer. Joker is slated to release on 4 October 2019.