Joaquin Phoenix on the Joker poster.
Image: Warner Bros.

The trailer officially drops tomorrow, but CinemaCon 2019 audiences at the Warner Bros. presentation in Las Vegas just got a first look at footage from Todd Philips’ Joker. io9 is there, and here’s what we saw:

Update: The trailer itself is now online:

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It starts with Arthur (Joaquin Phoenix) in a psychiatrist’s office. “Does it help to have someone to talk to?” the doctor asks. We see Arthur walking down a street and up some stairs. “My mom used to tell me to smile and put on a happy face,” he muses. “I thought my purpose was to bring laughter and joy to the world.” Meanwhile we see him starting to put on clown stuff, and then he’s a clown waving around an “Everything Must Go” sign—until it gets stolen, and he runs down the street after the guys and they smash it in his face. His reaction: “Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there?”

Next, we see Arthur in a lot of different settings. He’s in a donut shop with Zazie Beetz’ character. Then he’s walking to Arkham hospital, and we see him in an ambulance with a person going crazing, talking to Bryan Tyree Henry’s character behind some mesh. He’s in a club laughing at stand-up comedy. He’s in another club putting black on his eyes. Later he’s in a subway, laughing by himself with a bright green wig, and again he gets beat up—but this time he just keeps laughing. We see him running down the street. “Gotham has lost its way,” Thomas Wayne says on the TV. “What kind of character would do something so cold blooded?”

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Then Arthur’s teasing a young girl wearing a red nose. Arthur says, “I used to think my life is a tragedy, but it’s a comedy.” Meanwhile we see him on stage performing, a crowd of people screaming, all dressed as Jokers—then we see him in the full red suit walking down the street, down some stairs, and that’s it.

The trailer really tells us…nothing. It feels like almost a montage of the images we’ve already seen via Instagram, but there’s no reveal of the movie’s story or anything. There’s potential there to be sure, and a mood of real unease—but the trailer isn’t a home run.

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At the Warner Bros. presentation, director Todd Phillips said the film is still taking shape and he wants it to be a surprise—and added that most of the talk online isn’t accurate, which makes sense because Joker is an origin story about a beloved character who has no definitive origin. He also added that when Warner Bros. asked him to to give the film a genre, he thought about it and and said “It’s a tragedy.”

Speaking of Instagram, in case you missed it, here’s a look at the poster that dropped earlier today:

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And as noted, trailer will be online tomorrow so you’ll soon be able to see for yourself. As for all of Joker, it’ll be here before you know it, with a release date of October 4.

We updated this story with the trailer itself, which posted the next morning.


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