The Joker. He’s one of the most iconic villains in history and he’s been immortalised by many… Cesar Romero, Mark Hamill, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Jared Leto… Now, it’s time for Joaquin Phoenix to take the reigns.
Director Todd Phillips has described his upcoming film as a “gritty character study”, and this trailer seems to confirm that. If you were unaware about who The Joker is, or what his origins are, then you’d be forgiven for assuming this film has no links to the superhero genre, and I think that is what I found so captivating about this teaser.
It looks deep and complex, a view into the mind of a failed loner, shunned by society, who ultimately becomes the villain we all know and love. If you’re expecting an all guns blazing, action packed supervillain flick, then I think you’ll ultimately be disappointed by what you see here… But this isn’t what this film is about, and I commend DC for clearly trying to do something unique and different. We get glimpses of the Joker transformation throughout this teaser, nothing too spoiler-y, but just enough for me to be itching to watch this journey.
Of course, I can’t leave without commenting on the lead himself, and from what little we’ve seen of him, Phoenix looks perfectly cast. He’s an immense talent, and it looks like he’s going to be able to portray both sides of this character brilliantly. As Arthur, he’s going to be able to build empathy and connect with the audience. As The Joker, he’s going to be able to freak us out and unsettle us, just like The Joker should. I’m a big fan of how The Joker looks here, and he’s got the laugh nailed as well. It’s too early to say, and I won’t judge to conclusions, but I wouldn’t be shocked if once this film is released, he’s put on the same sort of pedestal as Heath Ledger was. At least, if anyone is going to reach that level, then it’s him.
Overall, I loved this initial teaser. I was already intrigued and excited for this film, now that excitement has only been elevated.
“I used to think that my life was a tragedy. But now I realise, it’s a comedy.”
Roll on October.