The New ‘Joker’ Trailer And Poster – In Theaters Oct 4
After months of speculation and fan anticipation, the first trailer for Warner Bros.’ upcoming DC Comics villain origin film Joker has arrived, along with the first new poster to promote the film. The poster dropped online last night, teasing this morning’s reveal of the full trailer. Read on to see the poster and watch the official trailer, and for my assessment of our first look at this latest iteration of the Clown Prince of Crime…
The official poster for Warner’s “The Joker”
SOURCE: WARNER BROS.
Joker is penned by screenwriter Scott Silver, who earned an Oscar nomination for The Fighter and directed by Todd Phillips. Phillips’ directing credits include Old School, The Hangover trilogy, and War Dogs. With Phoenix in the lead role as the iconic super-villains in history, Joker also stars Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Shea Whigham, Marc Maron, Brett Cullen, Bill Camp, and Douglas Hodge.
The trailer reveal comes ahead of this weekend’s debut of the latest DCEU film Shazam! This week also sees Warner continuing announcements of their numerous plans celebrating Batman’s 80th anniversary this year. The Joker himself appeared for the first time in 1940, in the first issue of Batman’s self-titled solo comic. Before the release of Batman #1, the vigilante hero’s stories ran in monthly issues of Detective Comics.
The Joker is Batman’s arch-nemesis, having appeared in four previous live-action films — Batman (1966), Batman (1989), The Dark Knight, and Suicide Squad. Actors Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, and Jared Leto portrayed the character in those films, respectively. In animation, several actors have voiced the Joker, including most famously Mark Hamill, as well as the great Larry Storch, Kevin Michael Richardson, John DiMaggio, Michael Emerson, Zach Galifianakis, and several others.
Now, take a look at the first trailer for Joker…
My first reaction is, this is a phenomenal trailer. It’s exactly the perfect tone and style to capture the Joker. Phoenix is every bit as amazing as I expected he’d be when I wrote this short piece nominating him for the role a few years back.
This feels like a combination of Taxi Driver, Mean Streets, and The King of Comedy. A tale of one man’s slow-burn descent into madness, in a decaying urban landscape that reflects his madness right back at him — or is it more that he reflects the city’s madness back to it? It’s a little bit of both, because this is the Joker and Gotham City, after all.
Phoenix’s Joker carries a lot of aesthetic similarities to Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning turn as the Joker. He wears clown makeup and has long, stringy hair, his clothing has a retro punk style, there’s a twitchy swagger to him as he strolls the city streets in his full costume, and he is surrounded by dirty alleys and street crime with a grounded realism akin to the Gotham we experienced in Ledger’s film.
But Phoenix also does plenty here to distinguish his Joker from anything we’ve seen before, and the similarities to Ledger’s Joker are just hints and touches that also reflect a broader sense of the character from key modern comic iterations. Phoenix plays the Joker as a disturbed man who is conscious of his insanity, who recognizes that it limits his ability to fit into society easily, and he appears desperate to make sense of his place in a world that seems determined to knock him down. We glimpse familial struggles, loneliness, and simmering rage. And then there’s that laugh– oh, what a wonderfully disturbing cackle it is.
To get so much from a teaser trailer speaks to the intensity of Phoenix’s performance and the integrity of the world the filmmakers have built. I cannot wait to see more and to find out how this Joker fits into a larger narrative that will — in this film’s story — eventually give rise to the Batman. Indeed, there is a moment in the trailer when the Joker is trying to make a young boy smile, and I wondered… is that Bruce Wayne? Is that the first meeting between two people who will one day become rivals for the soul of their city?
The timeline of this movie is still not entirely certain since it covers a potentially long period of Joker’s past and his origins as a villain. We know Thomas and Martha Wayne is in the movie, so Bruce Wayne exists too, and at some point, the Wayne parents will die in the film. The chances we’ll see Bruce as a child, then, are pretty good. So I’m betting that boy is indeed Bruce.
Joker hits theatres on October 4th, and we will surely get more posters and more trailers in the coming months. So stay tuned and check back here for updates, dear readers.
(This story originally appeared on Forbes)