“I used to think my life was a tragedy, but now I realize it’s a comedy.”
So says Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker in the new origin movie by Todd Phillips and Warner Bros., which released a teaser trailer Wednesday after previewing it at CinemaCon on Tuesday night.
The “Joker” trailer paints a dark picture of Gotham City and of Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck as it charts his descent into the Joker’s madness. With touches of “Taxi Driver” and even a quick shot of Robert De Niro, we see Arthur’s odd relationship with his mother laying the groundwork for a troubled life.
We also see him working in the clown costume that’s the normal incarnation of the Joker’s twisted look.
“My mother always tells me to smile and put on a happy face,” he says. “She told me I had a purpose to bring laughter and joy to the world.”
Hard to do when the world is giving you a beat-down at every turn.