Watch Joaquin Phoenix’s Surprisingly Creepy Transformation in the First Trailer for ‘Joker’

Something big is coming to the big screen, and judging by the first teaser trailer, it’s also extremely creepy. It’s Todd Phillips’s new movie Joker, starring three-time Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix in the disturbing title role.

Set to Jimmy Durante’s rendition of the song “Smile,” the teaser follows Arthur (Phoenix) as he transforms from failed stand-up comedian/mama’s boy to the disturbed criminal of Gotham we all know (and…love?). According to Warner Bros., Joker begins with the character in Gotham City in the early 1980s prior to his life as a criminal mastermind. 

Over the course of the two minutes and 25 seconds, we see Arthur’s descent into madness, appearing at the very end in costume as the classic DC Comics villain. 

“Is it me or is it just getting crazier out there?” Phoenix can be heard saying in a voiceover. Um, we would definitely say so.  

Judging by this first clip, Joker is putting a uniquely tragic spin on the character, separate from the portrayals we’ve seen by Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger. The movie also stars Oscar winner Robert De Niro, Frances Conroy (American Horror Story), Marc Maron (GLOW) and Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2). 

According to Phillips, who revealed the trailer at CinemaCon on Tuesday, the film is “still taking shape,” so we can only imagine what is still left to come. Is it October 4 yet?

Time to put on a happy face.