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‘Joker’ trailer: Joaquin Phoenix is scarily good as the deranged villain

‘Joker’ trailer: Joaquin Phoenix is scarily good as the deranged villain
Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck in Warner Bros.’ "Joker," due Oct. 4. (Warner Bros.)

“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.

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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.

Joaquin Phoenix stars in "Joker," with Robert De Niro and Zazie Beetz.

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.

Watch it now — it’s good. The movie comes out Oct. 4.

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