Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘Joker’ Introduces Himself By His Supervillain Name In A Majestic New Trailer

After announcing that a new trailer would drop on Wednesday, Todd Phillips and Warner Bros’ R-rated Joker kept us waiting for hours past the customary early-morning drop time favored by studios, but the time has finally arrived, so in the immortal words of Heath Ledger’s incarnation, “And here we go.”

There’s plenty to process in this trailer, but first, here’s a huge moment for the Clown Prince of Crime — when Arthur Fleck asks Robert De Niro’s TV host and Marc Maron’s character if they wouldn’t mind calling him “Joker” onstage? They seem alright with this request, little do they realize the mayhem to come.

Via Warner Bros.

Within these few minutes, we get a deeper dive into Fleck’s psyche. He alludes to continuous negative thoughts amid his revelry, and Phoenix appears to be delivering both a cerebral performance and a highly physical one once Fleck hits the streets. The effect is a truly majestic sight to behold, all with a gritty, Taxi Driver-esque feel to the origin story. We hear his chilling laugh and see more of Zazie Beetz’s love-interest character, and the realization arrives that we’ll likely see Fleck dealing with the death of his mother. Or at least, she’s in a very bad state in a hospital bed, and since she was the one to tell him to “put on a happy face,” no one will be laughing if he loses her. The absence of laughter is also apparently how Fleck’s early stand-up attempts on Murray Franklin’s (De Niro) talk show go as well.

Followed an extremely buzzed about first trailer and this second effort, Joker will make its North American debut at TIFF, along with screening at the Venice Film Festival. Even before a first public viewing, Phoenix has already been announced for a first acting award for this movie, and he’s been praised by TIFF officials as “the complete actor, and one of the finest in contemporary cinema” who delivers an “electric” performance here.

Just for kicks, here are six (spliced-together) teaser mini-clips from Tuesday.

Joker will arrive in theaters on October 4, 2019.