HomeNewsSend in the Clowns: Joaquin Phoenix ‘Joker’ trailer reactions

Send in the Clowns: Joaquin Phoenix ‘Joker’ trailer reactions

The final 'Joker' trailer gave us an idea of what this new DC supervillain movie is about, revealing who Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker will be.

Send in the Clowns: Joaquin Phoenix ‘Joker’ trailer reactions

DC Films has had a pretty solid year so far. After struggling thanks to too many projects shuffling around in the executive chamber, the comic giant had a critical hit thanks to Shazam in April. The Margot Robbie-led Bird of Prey film is chugging along nicely with a fresh face behind the camera. And lastly, RPatz Batman: need we say more? 

But DC isn’t finished with its surprises just yet. October will bring the standalone film fans didn’t realize they wanted: Joker. Joaquin Phoenix will don the iconic look of Gotham City’s greatest villain, portraying his downward spiral into madness and evil. 

Starring alongside Phoenix are Robert DeNiro, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Marc Maron, and Frances Conroy. The Hangover trilogy director Todd Phillips will helm the feature and Martin Scorsese is onboard as executive producer.

The first trailer for Joker dropped back in July after Comic-Con, giving us a little taste of what to expect from the villain’s origin story. But the final trailer that dropped on August 28th truly gave us an idea of what this movie is about, revealing who Phoenix’s Joker would be (and how he’ll probably be the best portrayal of the Joker ever).

A Joker origin story

Joker shows us how the Joker started as Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill comedian looking for success. But after one of his idols humiliates him on live television, it drives Arthur insane. Through his madness, he decides to get revenge on the world who looked down on him and laughed.

Since the trailer dropped, fans and critics alike have been going nuts. The general consensus on Joker is this will be the year’s top superhero film. (Sorry, Avengers: Endgame). Whether it’s Phoenix’s performance, the sets, the backstory, or the inclusion of Thomas Wayne, fans are drooling over every part of this trailer.

All the ways the internet has been losing it over the Joker trailer

On the critics’ side, host of Fear Frequency Jimmy Champane tweeted “I can’t believe we’re getting an R-rated Joker movie with some of the coolest cinematography I’ve seen all year.” 

Miles Surrey of The Ringer focused on director Todd Phillips. “If the M.O. for Phillips was to do his best Scorsese impression and look toward some of the director’s best work for Joker inspiration, well, that’s not such a bad idea. But more importantly, this trailer suggests that he may have pulled it off.”

Chaim Gartenberg of The Verge recognized the gritty take Phillips is going for on Batman’s iconic archrival. “It’s heavy stuff, and promises a far more serious take on the Joker’s traditional comics supervillainy than the already fairly grounded approach seen in 2008’s The Dark Knight.” For the most part, critics are optimistic, but not 100% on board since they know DC’s history. 

Among comic fans and cinephiles alike, the reaction to the final Joker trailer has been a lot louder and more passionate. 

On Twitter, user mikehope28 recognized Robert DeNiro. “Words literally cannot express how amazed I am that Robert DeNiro is in a DC film.” On the other hand, Infamousmargot “can’t wait to watch Joaquin Phoenix win an Oscar for his performance as Joker.” User Jobanhadi also focused on Phoenix. “I missed Heath Ledger, and I found it in Joaquin Phoenix.”

That wasn’t the only comparison made. BornHillsOnly made a video comparing Mark Hamill’s Joker laugh from Batman: The Animated Series and Phoenix’s laugh in Joker; the two are nearly one and the same. The video has over 260,000 views, so he’s not the only one loving Phoenix’s take on the iconic laugh.

When can I see this dark wonder?

Joker makes its premiere at the Venice Film Festival on August 31st (that’s Saturday – book your last-minute flight now), so it won’t be long before we get the first reactions to the actual film. For the rest of us who can’t see it on the festival circuit, Joker comes to theaters October 4th.

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Bethany is a recent graduate who dreams of making her own award-winning film, but for now writes about other media. She’s a child a heart specializing in hot takes on animated family movies (and sometimes other films & TV).

bwade@filmdaily.co