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Joker leads a clown revolution in final trailer ahead of world premiere

By Jacob Oller
Joker final trailer screengrab

Joker, the serious take on a not-so-serious Batman villain from director Todd Phillips, is primed to give Joaquin Phoenix another iconic role. From what fans have seen of the hard-R take on the Clown Prince of Crime's origin story, it looks like it's going to be as complex and dramatic as superhero cinema has gone with a cast that includes such heavy-hitters as Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Marc Maron, Shea Whigham, and Brian Tyree Henry.

The images have been bleak, the footage has been strange, and the new trailer dropped ahead of Joker's premieres at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals only make those two descriptors feel more accurate. Crazier than the film's first trailer, which was a more grounded take of gangster-esque footage and Gotham City grime, this new footage has plenty of weirdness on offer as the villain becomes unhinged enough to become, well, a villain. Take a look:

Phillips has recently been talking a lot about reinventing the origin story of Batman's greatest foe, and this new look at Arthur Fleck only makes it seem further and further from depictions of the character in things like Suicide Squad — or even the more clearly influential The Killing Joke. Now Joker has a clown army, a solid look at Beetz's love interest character (Sophie Dumond), and the source of his villainous name: as Fleck reinvents himself on the national stage, he asks to be called Joker. We've also got an epic new poster:

Joker final poster

While it may be making its film-festival premiere soon (Aug. 31 if fans happen to be at the Venice International Film Festival), Joker brings the R-rated supervillain heat to general audiences on Oct. 4.