Joker Trailer Released

“Joker” Trailer Takes Us to the Edge of Madness

With the DC Extended Universe always in flux, it was never a guarantee that Oscar winner Jared Leto would ever make another film as the Joker. Given how bad he was – among many terrible aspects of Suicide Squad – that was probably for the best. But then Warner Bros. announced a lower-budget, pitch-black comedy origin story from Todd Phillips (The Hangover trilogy) starring Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix. There was no telling how this unusual collaboration would turn out.

This week, we got our first look, and it's both exciting and nothing like what I was expecting. Joaquin Phoenix – last seen hulking over child predators in You Were Never Really Here – looks wiry and out of control as Arthur Fleck, hewing closer to his incredible turn in Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master. This Joker isn't the wild mob lieutenant of Batman, the unhinged force of chaos of The Dark Knight, and definitely not whatever Leto was going for in Suicide Squad. This is a broken man, brought low by an uncaring society. But even in its two-and-a-half minutes, it doesn't give anything away.

We get glimpses of Robert De Niro as a talk show host, making the comparisons to The King of Comedy and Taxi Driver that much more explicit. And keep an eye out for Shea Whigham (Amazon's Homecoming) and not one but two members of the Atlanta cast: Zazie Beetz and Brian Tyree Henry. We have yet to see Marc Maron or Bill Camp, two of my favorite character actors.

Joker hits theaters on Friday, October 4. For better or worse, it won't be like any comic book film in recent memory.

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About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.