Heath Ledger‘s Joker asked “Why So Serious?” The new one from Joaquin Phoenix attempts to answer that question.
In the first trailer for the new film Joker, DC looks to take an inspired dark turn (even by their standards) in this stand-alone origin story for Gotham’s most famous villain.
Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck, a man who fails at his comic dreams of making people laugh and, as society seems to turn against him, he turns against society.
Martin Scorsese serves as an executive producer, and director Todd Phillips uses two of that director’s films — Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy — as clear inspirations. Scorsese veteran of both movies, Robert De Niro, co-stars here.
Suffice it to say, if this comes together as well as this first trailer teases, we could be in for a perfect marriage of actor, concept, and material, particularly as a spin on something so familiar and iconic. The different take on the face paint alone — which is more classically “clown” — speaks volumes about the path they’re trying to forge, when I’m all-in on.
This, on the heels of individual efforts like Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and the new Shazam!, also makes me exicted about where the DC Universe of characters is headed, as a library of separate franchises spearheaded by different visionaries. That, to me, seems far more exciting and loaded with potential than Marvel’s corporate synergy of having to keep virtually every film on-brand.
Joker opens this fall on October 4, 2019.