‘Joker’ trailer released; DC’s iconic Batman villain takes the lead

Trailer for 'Joker,' starring Joaqin Phoenix, debuts Wednesday

(Gray News) - Warner Bros. Pictures released its first trailer Wednesday for “Joker,” with Joaquin Phoenix becoming the newest A-lister to tackle the role of Gotham City’s Clown Prince of Crime.

Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck, a failed stand-up comedian who is driven insane, according to iMDB. That’s a new alter ego for the character outside of DC lore; Joker was first introduced in comics in 1940.

"My mother always tells me to smile and put on a happy face," Fleck/Joker says in the trailer.

Todd Phillips ("The Hangover") directs the movie, which also stars Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, and Marc Maron.

By all accounts, this will be outside of the DC Extended Universe of movies, which started with 2013's "Man of Steel" and continued directly through "Justice League" in 2017. Jared Leto played that universe's version of Joker in "Suicide Squad."

Leto’s take on the Clown received mixed reviews, following on the Oscar-winning effort by the late Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight” in 2008, as well as Jack Nicholson’s Joker in 1989′s “Batman.”

“Joker” is set to release Oct. 4.

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