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Todd Phillips’s Joker, Starring Joaquin Phoenix as the Iconic Villain, Gets Teaser

There’s a little Charlie Chaplin in the Joker’s steps early on, before madness grips him in ways that would probably make Pennywise shudder.

Alexa Camp

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Joker
Photo: Warner Bros.

Before today, a psychological thriller about the Joker directed by the man responsible for The Hangover series wasn’t exactly on our list of priorities. After all, we’ve been burnt way too many times by the Marvel and DC universes to summon much excitement even for a more character-driven, less action-packed affair fiercely devoted to charting the mental anguish of one of the comic book canon’s most iconic villains.

But our affection for Joaquin Phoenix, perhaps the greatest actor of his generation, knows no bounds. And based on the two and a half minutes we’ve just seen of Todd Phillip’s Joker from its first teaser, the film looks like it may be closer in spirit to Taxi Driver than to Zack Snyder’s smugly self-serious contributions to the superhero industrial complex.

At the very least, it looks to be a fine showcase for Phoenix’s blend of sadness, grace, fury, and, above all, precision. There’s a little Charlie Chaplin in the Joker’s step early on, before madness grips him in ways that would probably make Pennywise shudder.

Joker, the first film in a series of DC-based films separate from the DC Extended Universe, also stars Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Brian Tyree Henry, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais, and Shea Whigham.

See the first teaser trailer for Joker below:

Warner Bros. will release Joker on October 4.

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