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New ‘Joker’ trailer teases director Todd Phillips’ ‘wildly different’ comic-book movie

“Joker” offers a new take on the Batman villain, with Joaquin Phoenix in title role.

Ahead of its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival later this week, Warner Bros. released on Wednesday a new trailer for its highly anticipated “Joker,” promising a gritty, grounded take on the comic-book genre unlike anything fans have seen before.

The film, which hits theaters Oct. 4, offers a new twist on the origin story of Batman’s ultimate nemesis, with Joaquin Phoenix stepping into shoes previously worn by Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger to play Arthur Fleck, a troubled, alienated clown-for-hire and aspiring comedian living on Gotham’s margins.

Dispensing with the typical CGI spectacle of comic-book movies, the film was inspired by gritty character studies of antiheroes of the 1970s such as “Taxi Driver” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

“It really came from this idea: What if you just did a comic-book movie differently?” Phillips told The Times. “We all grew up on these character studies, and they’re few and far between nowadays. So it was like, ‘Let’s do a deep dive on one of these guys in a real way.’ No one is going to fly in it. No buildings are going to collapse. It’s just going to be on the ground, so to speak.”


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