The final trailer for the Todd Phillips/Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie has just been released, and if you were under the impression that this would be some kind of superhero movie, think again! The final Joker trailer trots out every bad clown/bad comedian trope in one merry brew – up to and including a few bars of Frank Sinatra’s version of “Send in the CLowns.” Boop! On the red nose there, folks.

All that’s missing is a few bars of  “Vesti la Guibba” from I Pagliacci as the Joker guns down some innocents or collapses in tears and we’d have a perfect score!

Mostly, though, it’s an extremely gaunt Joaquin Phoenix  as clown/comedian Arthur Fleck, looking tortured and menacing as he gradually updates his closet with more purple outfits.

According to WB’s pr:

Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night… but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty character study.

Well if there is one thing the DCU film world needs it’s a gritty character study!

The trailer will draw heavy comparisons to both The Dark Knight – for its portrayal of a chaos loving Joker – and Martin Scorsese’s  The King of Comedy which featured Robert DeNiro as an aspiring comic with violent tendencies. DeNiro appears in Joker as a stand-up and comedy night MC, clearly mirroring the earlier role, and is the recipient of the trailer’s most ominous line: “Would you mind introducing me as….The Joker?”

All in all, a spot on reminder that clowns and stand-up comedians are among our most feared archetypes.

The Joker also stars Brett Cullen as Thomas Wayne, Batman’s father, Frances Conroy as Arthur Fleck’s mother, and Zazie Beetz and Marc Maron in other roles.

Joker opens on October 4th in wide release following a stint on the film festival tour.

mario lanza pagliacci
Mario Lanza as Pagliacci in the 1958 film version because clowns are ALWAYS crying on the inside.



  1. I’m sure the soundtrack will be filled with songs about clowns, smiles, circuses and carnivals, because it’s oh so ironic.

Comments are closed.