With Shazam! opening in theaters this weekend, Warner Bros. is beginning to push their latest DC film with director Todd Phillips‘ Joker, which sees three-time Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix smeared in the iconic clown makeup of DC’s most famous villain. Of course, Joker is a different take on the character than we’re used to and these two minutes of footage in the first teaser for the film promise that we’ll follow Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck’s descent into madness which evokes shades of Martin Scorsese‘s Taxi Driver.
Joker looks to carry on DC’s latest trend of focusing on standalone movies with its robust roster of comic characters, as this little teaser doesn’t mention any other famed characters. This is a wise choice and really frees up DC’s filmmakers to create some tonally unique takes on the characters. I’ll be frank, though, this teaser does get me more interested in Joker, though I’m still apprehensive because I’m not much of a fan of Todd Phillips, best known as the director of The Hangover trilogy. With its vintage look and Joaquin Phoenix in the lead, it does look like Joker might be Todd Phillips’ finest hour as a filmmaker.
Joining Joaquin in Joker are Robert DeNiro, Zazie Beetz, Brian Tyree Henry, and Shea Whigham. Rumors have Joker pegged to get an R-rating, which means that this might be the darkest, most twisted take on the legendary villain yet. More looks of Todd Phillips’ Joker are certainly to come in the weeks and months leading to the film’s release on October 4, 2019 from Warner Bros.
The official synopsis for Joker:
“Joker” centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck (Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.