Ahead of its Venice film festival premiere, Warner Bros has released the final full trailer for Joker, a gritty period take on the unhinged DC villain.
The film stars Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a man struggling to find his place in 70s Gotham. An aspiring comedian, he soon finds himself gaining fame in an unlikely, sinister manner.
The latest trailer gives a longer look at The Hangover director Todd Phillips’ left-field take on Batman’s foe, turning his tale into a darker character study, complete with R rating for “bloody violence, disturbing behavior, language and sex” at odds with the PG-13 portrayals we have seen before.
“We didn’t follow anything from the comic books, which people are gonna be mad about,” Phillips said to Empire. “We just wrote our own version of where a guy like Joker might come from. That’s what was interesting to me. We’re not even doing Joker, but the story of becoming Joker. It’s about this man.”
Phoenix, who has avoided comic book films to date, explained that it was nuance that attracted him to the project. “I think oftentimes, in these movies, we have these simplified, reductive archetypes, and that allows for the audience to be distant from the character, just like we would do in real life, where it’s easy to label somebody as evil, and therefore say: ‘Well, I’m not that,’” he said to Total Film.
Aside from Phoenix, the cast also includes Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Marc Maron and Brian Tyree Henry.
Joker will premiere this week at the Venice film festival alongside high-profile titles such as Noah Baumbach’s divorce drama Marriage Story starring Scarlett Johansson and James Gray’s much delayed space epic Ad Astra. Joker hits cinemas on 4 October.