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By 5 April 2019 | Categories: news

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It’s not easy to top Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight, but if there is one actor who can do it, we’ll put our money on Joaquin Phoenix. The first trailer for Joker has now dropped, and it looks a lot different from any movie from the DC Extended Universe, because it actually doesn’t form part of it.

Directed by Todd Phillips, also responsible for The Hangover movies and Old School, Joker tells the tale of Arthur Fleck (Phoenix), a failed stand-up comedian who is perhaps not as mentally stable as one would hope. The trailer shows how Fleck is slowly driven insane, with his transformation towards the Joker hinted at.

If you’ve seen Phoenix in the outstanding You Were Never Really Here, or The Master, you’ll find his character familiar. Deeply troubled, perhaps depressed, and definitely in need of going to see a shrink, we know where Phoenix’s character is heading, and it’s not good.

There are a few things that the trailer hasn’t revealed. Will we see Batman, since the movie features a young Bruce Wayne, who isn’t old enough yet to don the cowl? It’s also mentioned that executive producer Martin Scorsese's films Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and The King of Comedy inspired the movie - to what extent? We've also caught just a brief glimpse of Robert de Niro's talk show host character, who apparently plays a role in driving Fleck over the edge. Does the Joker actually kill him?

From what is to be gathered from the trailer, Joker looks more like a character study of a troubled individual than an action-packed comic book movie. How audiences will respond to this come 4 October on its release could just dictate the way forward for DC when it comes to its movies.

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