The DC film follows Joaquin Phoenix’s depiction of Arthur as a struggling comedian in 1981 Gotham City, taking care of his mother (Frances Conroy) in a run-down apartment. Depressed and frustrated by his own professional and personal letdowns, he finally breaks before becoming the notorious cartoon villain we’re familiar with today.
Phoenix kicks off the trailer on a bus, making faces at a young child before an eerie clip of the Joker’s therapy session begins.
“You don’t listen do you. You just ask the same questions every week: ‘How’s your job, are you having any negative thoughts?,'” Phoenix tells his therapist. “All I have are negative thoughts.”
Soon after, the Joker becomes fully realized alongside action sequences of cars crashing and hoards of clown mask-wearing crusaders. As the clip comes to a close, Phoenix assumes the mantel completely, asking to be introduced as the Joker, and nothing else.
Aside from the first trailer released in April, director Todd Phillips also posted clips on his Instagram, teasing dramatic scenes from the upcoming movie. Under Phillips, the new “Joker” will be set outside of the DC live-action universe, giving viewers insight into Arthur Fleck’s origin story in a way often left out in past movies such as “The Dark Knight.”
Written by Phillips and Scott Silver, the film also also stars Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, and Marc Maron. “Joker” hits theaters on Oct. 4.