Warner Bros’ forthcoming Joker origin tale has been a very weird project from the get-go, but that approach has served in its favour when it comes to audience expectation levels. The last two big screen iterations of the Clown Prince of Crime were like chalk and cheese – Heath Ledger’s phenomenal portrayal of the character in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight blew everyone away, whereas Jared Leto’s tattooed Suicide Squad villain …er, didn’t.
The Hangover director Todd Phillips was certainly an interesting choice to helm the project, but he’s been frustrated by the lack of accuracy in the coverage of his Joker solo outing so far, which he concedes is to be expected “when you set out to make an origin story about a beloved character that basically has no definitive origin.”
We did start to get a better picture of what Phillips and co-writer Scott Silver (8 Mile) are attempting to do with the character recently, as footage from the film – seemingly geared towards being the opposite of a fun Batman spin-off – screened to a rapt audience at CinemaCon, with people comparing it to Taxi Driver, You Were Never Really Here and The Woodsman. That sounded extremely bleak, and definitely not what you’d first connect to the man who had a global smash hit with the kind of comedy outing where Mike Tyson’s tiger is drugged with Rohypnol for reasons we don’t need to revisit here. Although, out of context, that does sound pretty bleak.
Now, we get to take a good look at Joker ourselves, as a first teaser trailer has been released to show us what attracted the very much in-demand Joaquin Phoenix to the tragic role of Arthur Fleck in the first place.
Take a look…
Joker also stars Zazie Beetz, Robert De Niro, Shea Whigham and Marc Maron, and will be released on 4th October.