We’re getting a different actor for a different type of Joker we haven’t seen on screen yet
Photos: Warner Bros. Pictures / YouTube
The first trailer for Joker, a new solo movie all about Batman’s infamous nemesis is out!
If this is the first time you’re hearing about such as movie, it’s important to note that Joker is a standalone movie zooming in on the origin story. That means that it is not connected to the current story thread of the DC Extended Universe, and you can expect that it will not be getting a sequel. Jared Leto, who portrayed the iconic DC supervillain on Suicide Squad and will reprise his role in the movie’s sequel, is not starring in Joker. Instead, Academy Award nominee Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator, Walk The Line, Her) sports the creepy face paint and will bring a new version of the Joker to life.
How does that work? Joker hits cinemas in October 2019, and it’s hard to imagine a standalone movie fitting in the plans for all the new DC movies without making us really confused. But this practice isn’t actually new for DC; it reminds us of how DC Comics have been creating “Elseworlds” stories that are separate from the main DC Universe continuity, in order to delve deeper into various possibilities that could happen to a character.
When you see the teaser trailer, it becomes clearer that Joker truly is taking a very different tone and even genre, compared to the usual comic book movies we get today:
The official synopsis of the movie says: “The exploration of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study but also a broader cautionary tale.”
One sign that the movie will indeed be an in-depth character study is that the Joker gets a real name – Arthur Fleck. The DC comics never confirmed the man’s name before he turns into a supervillain; the name Arthur Fleck is given by the new movie’s director Todd Philips.
We also get to know more about Fleck’s journey as a struggling comedian who is frequently bullied as a child. Unlike the more theatrical look of previous onscreen Jokers, Joaquin Phoenix’s version dons a much more traditional style of clown makeup, even as he transitions into the “Clown Prince of Crime.”
The grim tone is also a real-world reflection of the socio-political chaos during the 1980s, when Joker is set. Since the movie does not follow the DCEU canon, we’re not sure how the timeline will line up with the rest of the DC characters’ storylines. But, as the movie will feature a young Bruce Wayne (played by Dante Pereira-Olson) and Bruce’s father Thomas Wayne (Brett Cullen), it appears that the movie is set in Gotham City many years before Bruce even becomes the Caped Crusader.
Joker is the first movie in a whole new line of DC standalone movies in the vein of “Elseworld” that Warner Bros. has planned for the next few years. Like Joker, these movies would likely experiment with a darker tone than the rest of the DCEU.
What do you think about this direction that DC and Warner Bros. are taking? We don’t know how necessary another movie about the Joker is, even if it is a bold and fresh new take on the iconic character, but the trailer looks pretty awesome. We are excited to see how the movie plays out and show us what we can expect for the future of DC movies.