No matter how you may feel about the Joker as a baddie, there is no denying the draw of the character and why so many talented actors have been drawn to portraying him over the years. Despite my initial feelings of “here we go again,” after watching the latest teaser trailer for Joker, I can’t deny that—in addition to the fact that seeing Joaquin Phoenix do his thing would make me see this movie anyway—it genuinely looks good.
The film, which will be released October 4th of this year, is about Arthur Fleck/Joker, a failed comedian in 1981 who turned to the life of chaos and crime due to the society he exists within. Along with Phoenix in the title role are Robert De Niro; Zazie Beetz as Sophie Dumond, a single mother and love interest to Arthur; Brian Tyree Henry as a nurse; and Frances Conroy as Penny Fleck, Arthur’s mother.
It is worth addressing that it’s a bit trite to have these stories about people driven to crime because of “mental illness,” not reflecting people’s actual experience and always connected with criminality. Most people who are mentally ill are only a risk to themselves, and it would be nice to see people in films who have anxiety, bipolar disorder, and other conditions be seen as just people instead of almost always being connected with a generic “crazy” bad guy.
Still, as a mentally ill person who has been reading/watching Batman related works for most of my life, this is nothing new to the franchise. I’m excited to see what director and co-writer Todd Phillips has in mind for this latest incarnation of the Joker. I think the character is one of the best in Batman’s rogues’ gallery, even if I feel like we don’t often give good attention to the others, but I’m here for Warner Bros. making all these ambitious choices with their content.
With the praise for Aquaman, Shazam!, and the upcoming Birds of Prey movie, this will be a good break between those projects. Right now, all the things I’m most excited about, comic book movie-wise, are coming from DC, and that feels good to me.
And it looks like it feels good to fans, too:
Marc Maron was not lying when he said JOKER would be a character study on a mentally ill person becoming the Clown Prince of Crime.
We’ve never really seen that before on the big screen. Joker has always just existed. He was the Joker and nothing before mattered. pic.twitter.com/OvN4g84bdq
— Walt (@UberKryptonian) April 3, 2019
Joker looks great pic.twitter.com/Cc2GO6741F
— Caden Gardner (@cadenmgardner) April 3, 2019
I’m sorry this new Joker does not have any tattoos that are adjectives or express his specific emotions therefore I cannot recognize him
— Jeff Bakalar (@jeffbakalar) April 3, 2019
— Cifiriv (@Virific) April 3, 2019
What did you guys think of the teaser trailer?
(image: Warner Bros.)
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