Joaquin Phoenix tackles the origins of the Joker in official trailer for Joker

If ever there was a villain in pop culture history to put a smile on our faces, then it is the Joker.

The creepy comic-book character has been terrifying us since 1940 and has been memorably portrayed on the big-screen by various actors including Cesar Romero (Batman TV Series), Jack Nicholson (Batman), Jared Leto (Suicide Squad) and of course, the late Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight).

Now the origins of the iconic supervillain are being explored via an upcoming prequel which sees Gladiator and Walk the Line star Joaquin Phoenix tackle the role.

Simply entitled Joker, the film’s ‘why-so-serious’ trailer has premiered and fittingly includes “Just Smile” as its background song.

Directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover trilogy, War Dogs), the plot centres on a failed stand-up comedian (Phoenix) who is slowly driven insane. This leads to him becoming a psychotic killer who later becomes one of the most feared villains in Gotham City.

Oscar-winning legend Robert De Niro (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas) appears in the film as a veteran talk show host with additonal casting support including Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2, Atlanta), Shea Whigham (Boardwalk Empire, Kong: Skull Island), Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under, American Horror Story), Glenn Fleshler (True Detective, Billions), Brett Cullen (Ghost Rider, Narcos), Douglas Hodge (The Night Manager, Red Sparrow) and Marc Maron (Maron, GLOW).

Joker will be released in the UK on October 4th.

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