The Flickering Myth Reaction to the first Joker trailer

The Flickering Myth writing team share their thoughts on the first Joker trailer…


Yesterday, Warner Bros. Pictures gave us a peak at Joker, releasing a trailer for the upcoming comic book adaptation which sees Joaquin Phoenix becoming the latest actor to do the clown make-up as the iconic DC villain, with director Todd Phillips (The Hangover) set to explore the origins of the character in what is being described as a gritty drama. Here’s what our writers made of this glimpse of the standalone DC movie…

EJ Moreno: Holy Oscar Contender, Batman! All I want from my films are a dark and morose tone, and the Joker trailer captures that perfectly. The first DC movie since Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that is making me foam out the mouth in anticipation as well. Can’t wait to explore this version of the character and see a side of Gotham we normally don’t see.

Calum Petrie: It looks like it is going to be the story worth telling about the Joker. High hopes for this.


Eammon Jacobs: To say I was originally so skeptical about the idea of a Joker origin movie (since part of his appeal is not knowing who he is) – I’m completely on board for this. It’s great to see that DC are being bold with this one. Joaquin Phoenix is bringing a haunting performance to the villain, and I can’t wait to see what else is in store.

Tom Beasley: I’m still a little on the fence. I definitely dig the King of Comedy vibes present throughout the trailer and Phoenix seems to be bringing interesting layers to the Clown Prince of Crime. However, I’m still missing a sense of how this character works without the light-dark symbiosis with Batman. I’m sure it will be fine, but there’s not all that much here to get me past the quibbles I have had since the project was announced.

Helen Murdoch: This looks fantastic!! Loving Joaquin’s physicality and like that there’s no mention of Batman etc. and seems to be more about mental health. Thoroughly intrigued!


Liam Waddington: I was originally worried about DC developing a standalone Joker origin but now I am fully on board for this. Phoenix’s portrayal is both terrifying yet intriguing. However, I am concerned about how they are going to keep up momentum for the entire film.

Gerald Jeffrey James: When I first learned that Warner Bros was making a Joker origin film I was immediately put off by the idea. After all, the Joker is the most enigmatic villain in pop culture and I thought no good could come from demystifying him. I’m glad to say that this trailer has turned me around on the idea. This looks dark and creepy in a way that I feel fits the character and gives us enough room to view at as one take on how the character may have come about.

Hasitha Fernando: When this project was announced with Todd Phillips at the helm I was skeptical initially but Joaquin Phoenix’s involvement just turned things around for me. And by the looks of it we’re in for one heck of a ride. To me this will play out like an Elseworld one-shot with the setting of a different time period and darker overtones. Cannot wait for this!!!!


Villordsutch: Didn’t want it to happen and watching the trailer all the reasons shown in these brief moments are exactly why. The Joker once was a total enigma, now here’s a film that’ll show you what makes him tick! “Wanna know how I got these scars?” “Yes!” “Well, poor parenting, ill-advised job choices and random bouts of bullying. That about sums it up.” “Oh…Is that it?” “Yep”

Martin Carr: I’ll be watching for that performance alone. Phoenix looks good and the tone seems perfect for something capable of eradicating Leto from collective memories forever. It looks very Dark Knight in terms of location work and there seems nothing familiar here which is a good thing. Purists will bemoan the mere existence of The Joker in any form, but if anyone else was in the title role I’d be on that bandwagon too, however Phoenix looks in full possession of his faculties. Carnage in a good way seems more than possible.

Allen Christian: I still feel strongly that this film shouldn’t exist, that the concept of it alone misses the point of the character, and that it won’t really add anything to the mythos. But divorced from all of that, it looks like it could be a good watch.


Jessie Robertson: It looks like what was on all of our minds: a comic book film unlike any other, breaking down new barriers in the genre. I’m very intrigued.

Tom Jolliffe: I’m not particularly interested in this as far as being a Joker origin story. That he’s the Joker doesn’t interest me so much. As a kind of blending of Taxi Driverand The King of Comedy with Phoenix looking inspired (he rarely doesn’t to be fair) I’m thoroughly sold. I’ll forgo comparisons with Heath when the time comes as this doesn’t fit in the comic book film world, which is a big part of what intrigues me.

Tai Freligh: Looks dark and moody. Not really my cup of tea. It seems like the right way to tell the story of the Joker, but it’s nothing I would want to watch. I have a feeling it will do well, though because it had a very unique visual look and the dark tone matches the dark character. My big concern is that the plot is not very well defined. If it’s just a dramatic and moody origin story….no thanks…boring.


Robert Kojder: I’m really glad I have no attachment whatsoever to the comic book source material because whatever this is looks creative and downright incredible. I don’t want to jump the gun and say it’s an Oscar contender, but at the very least Joaquin Phoenix will likely be worthy. I love how every time someone accuses the superhero genre of becoming stale or about to burst, it gets reinvented with something wildly ambitious like this. I’m not necessarily mad Black Panther got a Best Picture nomination nor do I disagree with it, but it will be interesting to see if this movie can pull off that same accomplishment by way of being an amazing movie without the added conversation of cultural impact.

Ricky Church: I’m pretty intrigued by this movie. Joker is my favourite villain of all time (may really be a tie between him and Darth Vader) so I’m always interested in seeing him in live action or animation, though obviously not all interpretations land. And while I’m of the belief that Joker works best without a well-defined origin, the team involved here have made a good looking film which Joaquin Phoenix is sure to nail. He looks suitably creepy, both as Arthur Fleck and as The Joker while the visuals look gorgeous, lending itself to the atmosphere of the film. I do wonder how they’ll go without having Batman in the story at all, as well as how they intend to make Joker a not too sympathetic figure, but it’s definitely on my watch list for the year and will be a nice break from the more typical superhero films we’ll have gotten by then.

Laura Jorden: Bit on the fence with this one. Intriguing creepy visuals tick, power-house lead tick. However the appeal of The Joker was his enigma like qualities, is learning his origin really necessary? This film will probably fall into the Solo category for me.. interesting, enjoyable to watch fill in a few blanks but, nothing I couldn’t have lived without knowing… although it is a damn fine trailer.

What did you make of the first trailer for Joker? Are you looking forward to seeing what Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix deliver? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us @FlickeringMyth…


Joker centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. Todd Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.

Joker is set for release on October 4th 2019 and stars Joaquin Phoenix (The Sisters Brothers), Robert De Niro (Goodfellas), Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2), Bill Camp (Red Sparrow), Frances Conroy (American Horror Story), Brett Cullen (Narcos), Glenn Fleshler (Billions), Douglas Hodge (Penny Dreadful), Marc Maron (GLOW), Josh Pais (Motherless Brooklyn), Shea Whigham (Kong: Skull Island), Douglas Hodge (Robin Hood) and Dante Pereira-Olson (You Were Never Really Here).


(article originally appeared on Flickering Myth)

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