A day after airing the first teaser trailer for the highly-anticipated Joker at CinemaCon 2019 in Las Vegas, Warner Bros. Entertainment released the nearly two-and-a-half minute teaser wide on Wednesday. The creepy clip gives fans their first significant look at the '80s-set drama about Arthur Fleck, a failed stand-up comedian who embraces a demented life of crime as the Joker.
Set to Nat King Cole's "Smile," the eerie first look at the origin story of the famed DC villain shows Arthur Fleck wandering the streets of Gotham dressed as a clown. While flashes of him getting beat up and looking depressed flash across the screen, Phoenix gives insight in to the complicated character with a voice-over.
"My mother always tells me to smile and put on a happy face. She told me I had a purpose to bring laughter and joy to the world," he says. "Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there?"
Sweet dances and smiles in a diner are contrasted with police chases and subway attacks as Thomas Wayne (Brett Cullen) declares on TV, "Gotham's lost its way. What kind of coward would do something that cold blooded? Someone who hides behind a mask."
"I used to think my life was a tragedy, but now I realize it's a comedy," Phoenix's voice-over counters as he's shown in the full Joker costume, carrying a bouquet of flowers while walking menacingly down a hallway.
Directed by Todd Phillips (Bridesmaids, The Hangover) and produced by Martin Scorsese, the highly anticipated film also stars Robert De Niro, Marc Maron, Frances Conroy and Zazie Beetz. For a short time, Alec Baldwin was cast as Thomas Wayne, Bruce Wayne's father, but he's since left the project.