The Joker's storyline is independent of the DC Extended Universe, where recent films like Wonder Woman (2017), Justice League (2017), and Aquaman (2018) are based. We don't know to what extent - if at all - Batman will be featured.
We see Arthur routinely getting harassed, beaten up, and left to fend for himself in a "changing" Gotham.
Near the end of the trailer, Phoenix is shown in his full Joker costume and make-up dancing down a staircase as he declares, "I used to think my life was a tragedy, but now I realize it's a comedy". Then Joaquin Phoenix was named as the star, and while still totally unnecessary, at least it wasn't DC Films' worst idea (that was a Jared Leto stand-alone Joker movie). The creepy clip gives fans their first significant look at the '80s-set drama about Arthur Fleck, a failed stand-up comedian who embraces a demented life of crime as the Joker. Mark Hamill absolutely killed it during The Animated Series, Zach Galifianakis did an okay job in The LEGO Batman Movie, but most people probably associate Heath Ledger as being the ultimate portrayal of the character.
In a way, it sounds like Phoenix will be drawing from his performance in You Were Never Really Here, a reflective character study of an introverted enforcer. "It might as well be the thing that scares you the most".
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All in all, it proved a tremendously effective introduction to a new version of a character we've seen in countless iterations already - and I say that as someone who was initially skeptical of the whole endeavor.
While a fourth person added: "This movie has me freaking". Joker also stars Robert De Niro as a talk show host, Atlanta's Zazie Beetz as Arthur's love interest (run, gurl!), and Marc Maron. His body language, his gaze and even his make-up is spot on and it makes us hopeful for a great Joker film.
Joker springs out of the box October 4 in the United States and UK, and October 3 in Australia.