First Trailer For Joaquin Phoenix And Todd Phillips' Take On 'Joker' Teases A Scorsese-Esque Tragedy

As DC is excited to release its family friendly film Shazam! this weekend, its hard to believe the same studio is bringing us a project as dark as Todd Phillip's Joker later this year. The studio has made it clear this film has no relation to their current cinematic universe, and have promised a dark character piece set in the 1980s. With set photos already dropping of method actor Joaquin Phoenix in his full Joker make-up, fans have already been quick to move on from Jared Leto's infamous take on the Clown Prince of Crime as they look forward to this new film. The trailer delivers on everything we've expected, and may even already have some viewers talking Oscar buzz.

Below is the first trailer for Joker:
The trailer makes it very clear that this isn't your average comic book movie, and is mostly stripped of any big action scenes. The movie will instead focus on the demise of Phoenix's character Arthur Fleck into the Joker, and the things that happen to him that make him reach that breaking point. The origin story of the Joker is one that has been shrouded in mystery for years, but this one seems to be taking some beats from the comics. Like in The Killing Joke comic, Fleck will be a failed stand-up comedian here. This also might come full circle when we see him on stage behind a curtain for a talk show hosted by De Niro's character, where he finally gets the fame he wanted from actually becoming Joker.
Phillips and Phoenix both look to making Joker a much more sympathetic character here, which is a drastic departure from the maniac we're used to seeing on screen. The story will apparently explore Fleck's relationship with his obviously sick mother (Played by Frances Conroy) who seems to be his motivation through his daily hardships in telling him to always put on a "happy face". Phoenix performance already looks like one to keep any eye on for when award season comes around, but of course that all depends on how good the movie is. In this trailer alone we're able to see him play the nice guy struggling with mental illness with some creepy undertones, and then a much more confident man under the makeup once he's transformed into Joker. 
The trailer alone has already drawn a lot of comparisons to Scorsese's past films including Taxi Driver, Mean Streets, and The King of Comedy. While Phillips is directing, Scorsese is still involved with the project as a producer and his influence shows. There's several references Batman fans will take notice of including Thomas Wayne on a TV screen condoning Joker's actions and the apparent chaos he has caused by inspiring copy cat clowns. Joker seems to have strong feelings towards the rich going off what he has written in his diary, so its likely Wayne is one of his targets given his high status and that he's running for Mayor of Gotham. We actually even see Fleck pre-Joker interact with a young Bruce Wayne at what appears to be the gates of Wayne Manor, so this may be a sign Fleck is stalking Thomas Wayne earlier in the story.
So what did you think of the Joker trailer? Do you think the movie looks like an Oscar contender? Let us know below!